Contributions Credits and people who need not pay Contributions
When made unemployed through redundancy from full time employment, applications for Social Security Contribution Credits must be made to the Work Zone at Customer and Local Services within four weeks. The unemployed person must then register each week. The credits will be made for up to twenty six weeks, provided that proof that they are actively seeking work is maintained. Income Support claimants will be assigned a Job Coach. If not in receipt of Income Support, evidence of job seeking produced at the counter will suffice.
Who may have contributions credited
Students up to 18
Students in full time education will have their contributions credited from age 16 years up to their 18th birthdays. Contributions need not be paid while the student is in full-time secondary education beyond the age of 18 but if they so wish, students may pay in order that their contribution record be as complete as possible to maximise pension rights. It is possible to make up missed contributions at anytime up to retirement age.
Students over 18
Students over the age of 18 can have a maximum of 36 months of contribution credits while they are in a full-time course of education. The period of 36 months can be split, perhaps while the student is employed during holidays and paying contributions. Contribution credits are only awarded in those months that they are not paid. Should the course exceed 36 months, the student is still excused from paying Social Security contributions but no credits will be issued. It is possible to make up missed contributions at anytime up to retirement in order to maximise pension rights.
Sickness and incapacity
People who are sick or incapacitated will have credits awarded for any period during which they are unable to work so long as medical certificates are sent to Customer and Local Services. People are entitled to credits regardless of whether they are receiving benefit during their period away from work.
Those who are made redundant from full time, Class 1 employment (i.e. employed by an employer) will have their contributions credited whilst unemployed provided that they: –
- register at the Work Zone not later than Friday of each week of unemployment
- have been unemployed for at least six consecutive days (excluding Sunday)
- are not earning more than a minimal amount from any spare-time employment
- normally rely on Class 1 employment for their livelihood
They may be disqualified from unemployment credits if they:-
- leave their employment voluntarily eg accept a voluntary redundancy package
- lose their job through misconduct
- place unreasonable conditions on what sort of jobs they will accept
- don’t take up offers of suitable work
- are taking part in an industrial dispute (unless not directly interested in it)
- are on holiday
- are still in a period covered by ‘payment in lieu of notice’
- are seasonal workers, and the unemployment period is during the ‘off season’ when they would not normally be employed
Class 2 contributions receiving benefits
Class 2 contributions (self employed and low earners from Class 1) who are receiving Incapacity Allowance, Incapacity Pension, or Parental Allowance will have their contributions credited, whilst they are unable to work, up to their normal liability level.
A self employed person cannot receive contribution credits if they decide to seek employment, and register as unemployed, due to the failure or winding down of their business.
Survivors Benefit (replaces Widow’s and Widower’s benefits)
Widows and widowed fathers entitled to the Survivor’s Benefit are automatically excused from paying contributions during the first year after bereavement. During the first year credits will be awarded. After this period the survivor is liable to pay contributions.
Home responsibility protection
Credits can be awarded to a parent, step parent or person living with and maintaining a child under the age of five years. The person does not need to be married or a different gender to their partner. The credits can be awarded to a person of any gender. They must be over eighteen years of age and under pensionable age. A maximum of ten years of HRP can be awarded. The claimant needs to have been resident for a minimum of six months.
The credits protect a pension and survivor’s benefit but cannot count towards incapacity or maternity benefits.
HRP stops when the youngest child starts school, or credits have been awarded for a period of ten years.
People who need not pay Contributions
The following people do not have to pay contributions:
- People who are receiving Survivor’s Allowance
- People over pension age, including women who can claim a pension at the age of 60, or those who claim their pension between the ages of 63 and 65
- Retired people over 60 who have elected not to pay
- People under school leaving age during the whole of any month
- People who stay at home to care for a child under the age of 5
- People who have been granted a Small Income Exception
- People in full-time education or training
- People who go to live outside the island [unless they are in Jersey employment]
- People in prison or in legal custody
- People newly arrived in the island for the first time do not have to pay until they have been living here for six continuous months
- For more information see here