Home » Industry » NSSA – Commercial Farmers Should Be Registered With NSSA

Commercial farmers like other formal sector employers, expected to register with the National Social Security Authority and are expected to remit their National Pension Scheme contributions and Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund premiums every month. They are also expected to ensure their employees are registered with NSSA. Employers use form P2 to register and employees use form P3. Both are obtainable from any NSSA office or can be downloaded from the NSSA website (www.nssa.org.zw lthttp:www.nssa.org.zwgt). The pension scheme contribution is seven percent of each employee’s basic earnings for those earning up to $700 per month. It is seven percent of $700 for anyone earning the maximum monthly insurable earnings of $700 and above.

Half of this contribution is deducted from the employee’s wage. The deduction should be reflected on the employee’s payslip. The other half is paid by the employer. The employer is solely responsible for paying the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund (WCIF) premium, which is calculated as a small percentage of each employee’s wage.

The exact percentage for the farming sector can be obtained from any NSSA office. WCIF rates vary according to the assessed risk in particular employment sectors. They are reviewed from time to time.

Farm employees can claim their retirement benefit at the age of 55, if they are retired at that age and if they have been employed in the agricultural sector or another sector considered by NSSA as an arduous occupation for at least seven of the 10 years prior to their turning 55.

However, if they are still able to work it may be aantageous for them to continue working for longer, since the longer the contribution period and the higher the insurable earnings at retirement, the higher any retirement benefit will be.

If they have not contributed for at least 120 months and they have attained the age of 55 they are encouraged to continue contributing because a retirement pension is only payable after contributions have been made to the National Pension Scheme for at least 120 months.

The latest pensionable age for a retirement benefit is 65. After reaching the age of 65 contributions to the pension scheme should end and the retirement benefit be claimed. Those who are over 60 and no longer employed can also claim their retirement benefit.

It is only agricultural workers and those employed in other arduous occupations such as heavy truck driving, quarrying and some mining and forestry jobs who can claim their retirement benefit at age 55, provided they have been working for at least seven of the 10 preceding years in such an occupation.

Someone wrote in to say that her parents used to work at some farms a long time ago. She asked what they should do to obtain money from NSSA.

There are a few important issues that would determine whether or not they are entitled to a retirement benefit from NSSA and, if they are, whether that benefit would be a pension or a grant. The first is whether they contributed to the national pension scheme. The second is, if they did contribute to the scheme, for how long they contributed to it. They would also need to meet the age qualification for the retirement benefit.

The pension scheme only began in October 1994, so that would have been the earliest date at which they could have begun contributing to the pension scheme.

To qualify for a retirement pension they would have had to contribute to the scheme for at least 10 years (120 months). If they contributed for less than 120 months but not less than 12 months then, presuming they have reached the requisite pensionable age, they would be entitled to a retirement grant. The grant is a single lump sum payment, whereas the pension is paid every month for the rest of the pensioner’s life. Although commercial farmers are required to register with NSSA not all of them have done so. The NSSA pension scheme is a contributory scheme from which only those who have contributed to it can benefit.

If the former farm workers received payslips that showed a deduction for the NSSA pension scheme then that should mean that they were contributing to the scheme and, provided they contributed for at least 12 months, they should be entitled to a retirement benefit.

In the event that they are uncertain whether or not they are registered with NSSA, they can find out by visiting their nearest NSSA office with their national identity card. If NSSA does not have any record of their being registered but they have payslips showing deductions for the NSSA pension scheme, then they should present these to NSSA.

If they are certain that they both contributed to the national pension scheme, then they each need to complete a form P910 and ask their last employer to complete the employer’s section. If they are unable to find their last employer, then they should state that on the form. The form needs to be submitted to NSSA with a certified copy of the claimant’s national identity card or valid driver’s licence of passport.

Claims are made by completing and submitting to your nearest office form P910, which can be obtained from a NSSA office or be downloaded from the NSSA website.

Talking Social Security is published weekly by the National Social Security Authority as a public service. There is also a weekly radio programme on social security, PaMheponeNssaEmoyeni le NSSA, at 6.50 pm every Thursday on Radio Zimbabwe and Friday on National FM.

Readers can e-mail issues they would like dealt with in this column to mail@mhpr.co.zw or text them to 0772-307913. Those with individual queries should contact their local NSSA office or telephone NSSA on (04) 7065235, 7065459, or 7990301.

Source : The Herald