Social Security Marks Anniversary with Special Initiatives to Raise Awareness and Increase Compliance

Basseterre, St. Kitts—2nd July, 2013 — The St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board is observing the 17th Anniversary of Self-Employed Coverage by taking a number of steps to promote the coverage within the next few weeks. Between the period of the anniversary date of 1st July to the end of August, the Board will employ special methods to engage relevant persons by way of various activities to generate more awareness and greater compliance amongst stakeholders and the principal target group, respectively.

For this entire period, Inspectors of the Compliance Department at the Head Office on St. Kitts as well as from the Branch Office on Nevis will be making special visits to known individuals who are yet to comply with the requirement of registration. This will be a concerted drive to bring them on board. During such visits, a survey will be administered by the officers to glean from such persons basic information that could inform Social Security’s approach to dealing with this important insurance coverage in a manner that is relevant to the needs of the said persons.

The Board will also be welcoming persons who may be in arrears to discuss amenable ways to settle their outstanding amounts. Such persons are encouraged to visit the Social Security Offices with reasonable proposals for clearing their arrears; thereby placing them on a path to unlimited benefits.

A symposium will be staged during which relevant subject matters will be discussed. This is expected to include advice on financial matters along with the basics of Social Security coverage; particularly catering to the self-employed. At this event a number of fully compliant self-employed persons will be recognized and presented with tokens and certificates of appreciation by the Social Security Board. In addition, the eighteen (18) persons who have qualified for pension based solely on self-employed contributions will be given pride of place.

A Radio Panel Discussion will be staged in which several persons, representing the views of stakeholders will be enabled to articulate their respective perspectives. This will be conducted as a television broadcast with a possible link up with one radio station.

Press releases will be disseminated at relevant points to give information to the general public. These will be complemented by postings on the Social Security Facebook Page, uploads to the Social Security Website and incorporation of subject matters in the weekly Social Security television and radio programs.

The Social Security Board takes the opportunity to give the following reminder: Universal coverage was achieved in 1996 when self-employed persons were provided with the opportunity to secure income protection in an equitable manner in comparison to their employed counterparts. The Board is pleased with the fact that over three thousand registrations are on record but is disappointed with the rate of compliance. The eighteen (18) persons who have qualified for Age Pension provide a clear testimony that the coverage is valuable, since without it these persons would have approached retirement without a secure source of income.

The Board wishes them a wonderful retirement and appeals to all self-employed persons to become compliant for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of the entire society.

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