Contribution and name queries were amongst the main issues raised during an outreach to the Essequibo Coast held by the National Insurance Scheme [NIS] on Thursday.
The visiting team consisted of key members within NIS, which included the General Manager, Ms. Holly Greaves and Gillian Burton Persaud who is a director on the NIS Board, and Chairman on the Publicity and communications committee.
“We’ve had quite a number of contribution queries and name queries where persons have changed their names through marriage, or by way of a deed poll and they never tried to come into NIS,” NIS’s PRO Diane Lewis-Baxter said, “or some persons when they got registered initially, they were not required to supply their employer with a birth certificate or an identification card so you find that some persons date of births don’t correspond with what we have.”
She said that NIS is working to resolve many of these issues as she explained issues with contributions remain one of the challenges. An online system is in place to allow persons to query their contributions she said, “you don’t have to necessarily come into NIS to check your contributions once you have access to the internet there is a quick three step process online that persons can use… help is even available at all of the local offices, where persons can check contribution.”
Board Director Gillian Burton- Persaud called on contributors to also play their role in ensuring that they can receive their benefits at retirement; stressing the importance of employees checking their contributions, “don’t take it for granted that your contributions are being paid. Person can go online and check to see if they’re contributions are up to date because we have a lot of employers, especially in the security firm, who don’t pay the NIS for employees even though they claim to do so. At the end of the day when persons apply for their pensions, they find out that their contributions were never paid in. Employees must have an NIS number and a card.”
Region Two resident, Harmon Persaud, who has had difficulties receiving his benefits, said that he was pleased with the response to his issue by General Manager Greaves. The pensioner told this publication that he was given a grant by NIS, instead of being offered a monthly pension. He went on to say, “I was not satisfied because I have an excess of 1500 contributions, so I made an appeal and it has been two years since I was waiting. I was made aware fortunately that a team from NIS, Georgetown would have been here, which I visited and the response was overwhelming, and I was promised that within two weeks my pension book would be here,” Persaud said