In Jamaica, approved pension plans and retirement schemes are tax exempt. There are occupational pension and individual retirement, schemes. The former is established with an employer; the latter with a financial institution usually for self-employed individuals or persons not in a pensionable post.
Pension plan can be contributory - both employee and employer contribute; or non-contributory - where only the employer contributes.
The pension benefit can take the form of accumulated contributions plus all the income interest earned from the performance of assets in the pension plan. Otherwise, the benefit is a guaranteed amount received upon retirement, regardless of the performance of the pool of assets or whether or not there is a surplus of assets over liability in the pension plan.
The NIS (National Insurance Service) is a contributory social security fund administered by the government. We all pay to the NIS since it is a payroll tax. The contribution by the employee is at a rate of 2.5% of gross salary, and the employer pays a matching 2.5%. This is capped to a maximum income of JMD1.5 MN per annum. The benefits are payable to retired workers, or persons having loss of income due to injury on job, incapacity or death.
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