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Sep 6, 2017

S.S.B. explains why increased contributions will lead to increased worker benefits

For the past several months, we have been telling you about the Social Security Board’s proposed changes in contributions. Consultations have been held around the country and it is yet to be decided how those changes will be made. Today the S.S.B. hosted a mixer where C.E.O. Colin Young said that there has been a mixed sense from the consultations. Young says that since employees are to benefit more from the restructuring, some employers believe they should bear the brunt of the increase. Here is how C.E.O. Young explains the proposed changes.

 

Colin Young, C.E.O., S.S.B.

Colin Young

The first thing I want to point out is this area that is in the brown. This is important because the increase that we are talking about will not impact any worker who is earning less than the current ceiling which is at 320. So, all of these workers here, and we know there are about sixty thousand or so of them, about sixty percent of all the insured persons that contribute into SSB are earning less than 320 dollars per week. So, we are talking about a proposed increase that will impact about forty percent of those people who contribute into Social Security. The other point we want to raise is that if you are earning $320 or if you are in this wage band, we are proposing an increase – if you go to the other wage band- of an increase of $1.60 per week. So, if you are paying $9.55 now and this was to be approved, you would go from $9.55 to one $1.60, so your weekly contribution will now be $11.15. Under this split, 50-50, the employer will also be paying the same $1.60. So, the employers cost will go up from 16.05 to 17.65. Now, you are not just paying with not getting anything back. I want to draw your attention to this side of the graph of the table, right now the maximum that you can get in terms of the eighty percent of your insurable earnings which is the 320, is 256. As you go up in the wage band, you notice that the amount that you get for like sickness benefits and maternity benefits increases as well. So, if we take the ceiling, the new propose ceiling is 500 and over, an employee now regardless of how much money they make in a week; if you make two thousand dollars a week, social security only insures you up to 320 and you only get eighty percent of the 320. So, what you are seeing here, under the maximum increase that would happen under this proposal under a 50-50 split is eight dollars. So, those employees, who, for example, are making 550 per week, if they are sick or they have maternity benefit, notice that now they would collect per week four hundred and sixteen dollars rather than the two fifty six that they are collecting now as the maximum. So, while you are paying a little bit more per week, your benefit also increases.”

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