Facts About NASSIT

Addressing the press in May at the press seminar on the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) scheme at the Golden Tulip, Kimbima Essential Hotel in Aberdeen, the Trust’s Director General, Mohamed Fuad Daboh noted that their core mandate is registering members, collecting contributions, enforcing compliance and paying benefits.

What is NASSIT?

It is a statutory Public Trust charged with the responsibility of administering the country’s National Pension Scheme. It is an autonomous entity guaranteed by the state.

The Board of Trustees which is responsible for policy formulation is tripartite. It comprises representatives from employers, employees’ organisations and representatives from key government departments, including the Bank of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.

The day-to-day administration of NASSIT is vested in the Director General who is assisted by the Deputy Director General and the Directors of the various divisions,

Membership of the Scheme is compulsory for all workers with an employer-employee relationship. It is optional for self-employed persons.

According to the NASSIT Act No.5 of 2001, it is mandatory for all employers to ensure that their workers are registered with the scheme. The employer is obliged to deduct 5% from the employee’s earnings and pay 10% on behalf of the employee to give a total contribution of 15%. Self employed persons may join the scheme as voluntary contributors, paying the full 15% on their declared income.

The scheme is a ‘defined benefit social insurance one’ wherein members contribute during their working life and are paid benefits at the onset of any of the three contingencies of Old age, Invalidity and Death.

It provides benefits in the form of old age gratuity and pension and survivors gratuity and pension.

What happens when an employer fails to register his employees?

The person commits an offense that shall be liable to summary conviction to a fine not exceeding Le5, 000,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both.

If an employer evades payment of social security contributions in respect of employees, what happens?

Evading paying NASSIT contribution by an employer is an offense under the law and carries the same penalties as above.

What determines the size of one’s benefit?

The NASSIT Scheme is earnings related. Generally, members with higher salaries receive higher pensions or benefits which are part replacement of lost income and therefore cannot be more than the income a member earned prior to a contingency. Additionally, the Scheme has an inherent mechanism for reviewing pensions to ensure that the value of the pension is maintained.

Does a member have to register again if he changes job or employer?

No, you register only once and issued with a social security card. When you change jobs, you inform your new employer to update your status with NASSIT.

What happens to contribution if one quits working?

Your social security account is frozen and reactivated whenever you return to work and pay contributions. You may keep your account active by paying voluntary contributions.

Can a member work after retirement?

Yes but will not pay social security contributions.

How often can members change their dependants?

As often as they want.

How can a member update his personal record?

You can change name, address, names of dependants by completing a Membership Update Form (SS1C) which is available at any NASSIT Area Office. The Form should be endorsed by an employer and returned to any NASSIT Regional office for the update to be done.

When can a member retire?

A member can retire voluntarily between age 55 – 59 and receive a reduced pension or at age 60 and receive full pension.

Who is eligible for retirement benefits?

When you pay social security contributions for at least 180 months (15 years) and have attained age 55 – 60 years.

Who gets invalidity benefit?

When declared permanently and totally incapable of further employment by a qualified medical officer certified by the NASSIT Medical Board for a minimum of five years.

Who is eligible for survivor’s benefits?

Dependant(s) whose name(s) are on the member’s card. They include a widow or widower, children under 18 years and children under 23 years in higher education. Widow/widower receives 40% and children 60%.

Can you be paid survivors’ benefit and work at the same time?

Yes.

If a spouse remarries, does it affect receipt of their survivors’ benefits?

Yes.

What is the maximum pension payable to a member?

Between 30 to 80% of the average of the best 60 months of one’s earnings.

What is the minimum pension?

50% of the minimum wage which is Le250, 000 per month.

If a member dies without nominating a spouse or dependants, can the benefit.

Yes, with supporting documents.

If a dependent child is invalid will he/she benefit?

Yes, till death.