Contributions FAQ's

Here you can find answers to common questions related to contributions payable to the Social Security Board.

  1. What are Contribution Deductions? [+]
    At the end of each pay period, contributions must be deducted from employees’ wages/salaries. Effective 1st January 2019, contribution rate increased to 13% of insurable earnings for private sector workers; of which the employee pays 5½% and the employer pays 7½%. For public sector workers, the contribution rate was increased to 12% of insurable earnings; of which the employee pays 4½% and the employer pays 7½%. The maximum annual insurable earnings is $78,000 ($6,500 per month; $3,000.00 per fortnight; or $1,500 per week). In addition to salaries/wages, the earnings of an employee on which contributions are payable include overtime payments, vacation pay, cost of living bonus, housing allowance, shift work, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, service charge, and danger or dirt money.
  2. How should contributions be remitted? [+]

    All employers are required to pay Social Security contributions within 14 days after the end of the preceding month. Where the 14th falls on a weekend or public holiday, payments must be made by the next business day after the 14th to avoid late fee charge of 10% of the amount owed. Contribution payments must be paid when the monthly Remittance Form (R5A) is submitted and clearly indicates:-

    • The name and registration number of the employer;
    • The names and social security numbers of all employees and the month for which payment is being made;

      If there are weekly or fortnightly paid employees, the amount earned for each week or fortnight should be indicated;

    • The insurable earnings and total contributions;
    • The total gross salary/wage;
    • Vacation and/or Sickness periods should be noted; and
    • The name and signature of the authorizing officer or employer’s representative.
  3. What are the penalties for incomplete information on R5A Forms? [+]
    If an employer submits an incomplete or incorrect R5A Form during the contribution month, the ABSSB charges a fee of $100.00 per incorrect page.
  4. What are the penalties for non-payment of contributions? [+]
    Payments that are not made within the prescribed time will be subjected to a surcharge of 10% of the total contributions payable. Additionally, legal action may be taken against employers who fail to pay within the prescribed time.
  5. Can employees verify the remittance of their contributions? [+]
    An employee who makes a request in person at the Social Security Office and provides proof of identity can find out if his/her employer is making the required contributions on his/her behalf.
  6. What happens where an employee has more than one employer? [+]
    Where an employee works concurrently for more than one employer - each employer is required to pay the Social Security contributions with respect to the wages paid to that employee.
  7. Is there any redress in the event of excess contribution payments? [+]
    Yes. Any excess contributions paid in error are refundable on application to the Director.
  8. When are contributions not payable? [+]
    Contributions are not payable during periods when an employee is receiving Sickness Benefit or Maternity Benefit; or on Severance Pay; or Travelling Allowance.

    However, Contributions are payable on uncertified sick days.

  9. At what point should deductions on earnings commence? [+]
    Deductions should be made from the initial wages or salary i.e. during the period of probation.
  10. At what age should Employers cease remittance of Social Security contributions? [+]
    There is no national retirement age in Antigua & Barbuda. However, there’s a Social Security pensionable age which is no longer fixed. As of 1st January 2017, the pensionable age moved to 61 years; and, will incrementally increase every two years until 2025, pursuant to Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 61, Social Security (Benefits) (Age Pensions and Grants) (Amendment) Regulations.

    However, at age 60 - the insured person can choose to activate an early pension arrangement.

  11. What happens if the remittance payment due date [14th] falls on the weekend or public holiday? [+]
    If the remittance payment due date [14th] falls on the weekend or public holiday, on-time payments can still be made on the next business day.

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