Social Security Contributions
Married Women Option
Before 2001, a woman who was married could opt not to pay contributions but a new law came in on 1st April 2001 which makes men and women equal when paying Social Security Contributions. Women who married after 1st April 2001 or who first came into the Jersey Social Security system after 1st April 2001 now have to pay and need to keep up their contribution record so they qualify for a full retirement pension.
To qualify for the Married Woman’s Option of not paying Social Security contributions you have to be able to show:
- That your current marriage started before the law changed
- The date when you were first liable for the Social Security is before the change in the law. This means that a woman arriving in Jersey for the first time after 1st April 2001 will not qualify for the Married Woman’s Option.
No contributions are due if you are working hours are less than 8 hours per week.
Unemployed married women who would qualify for the Married Woman’s Option may choose to pay Class 2 Contributions to keep up their payment record.
Married women on separation
It is important that a married woman who separates from her husband thinks about paying full contributions if working, or class 2 contributions if not working, to protect her benefits in future (these include Incapacity Allowance, pension and pension rights). After divorce, she will have to pay Class 1 or Class 2 contributions.
Divorced women and contributions
A married woman should let Customer and Local Services know as soon as her marriage has ended through divorce because she will straight away have to pay a contribution as a single person, even if she had in the past chosen not to pay as a married woman.
She is liable for a contribution whether she is employed or not, and will pay Class 2 contributions if she has a very low income from earnings, is self-employed or non-employed. These are very large contributions and if the woman cannot afford to pay them, she can ask for dispensation (but will have a lower contribution record which will affect her pension and other benefits)
Self-Employed or Non-Employed-Class 2 Contributions
You’re liable to pay Class 2 contributions if you:
- have been living in Jersey for over six months
- over 18 but below pension age
- are not employed or paying full Class 1 contributions
This includes if you’re:
- earning below £980 per month
- working less than eight hours per week
- studying or in full time education over the age of 18 (unless student credits have been applied)
- bringing up a family
See Paying Class 2 contributions page for more information.
No contribution needs be paid for employees who work less than eight hours per week for any one employer.
Home responsibility protection
Credits can be awarded to a parent, step-parent or person living with and looking after 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 given to a person of either gender. They must be over eighteen years of age and under pensionable age. A maximum of ten years of Home Responsibility Protection can be awarded. The claimant needs to have been living on the island for a minimum of six months.
The credits given to protect a pension and survivor’s benefit but cannot count towards incapacity or maternity benefits.
Home Responsibility Protection stops when the youngest child starts school, or credits have been awarded for a period of ten years.
Widows and widowed fathers entitled to the Survivor’s Benefit are, without asking, exempt from paying contributions during the first year after the death of their partner. During the first year, credits will be awarded. After this time the survivor is liable to pay contributions.