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Friday, May 27, 2022

Social Security Board defaulters rack up near-$15M debt

Social Security Board defaulters rack up near-$15M debt

Non-compliance by employers continues to pose a significant challenge for the Social Security Board (SSB), particularly during the early stages of 2021 when defaulters racked up millions of dollars in debt to the agency.

This is according to SSB Director, Jeanette Scatliffe-Boynes, who told the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) late last year that the challenges that came in early 2021 were largely due to the effects of the pandemic.

Scatliffe-Boynes told the SFC that by mid-2021, the defaulters increased to 41, bringing the total to 1,381 businesses. Their combined estimated balance was $14.9 million.

The SSB Director told the SFC that the SSB had begun transitioning into their regular collection routine and had recommenced field visits. The SSB also transferred accounts to a new in-house counsel and had been working with defaulters.

Since those measures had been implemented, Scatliffe-Boynes said the SSB had realised a decrease of $13.7 million of the outstanding balance as of the end of September 2021.

Severe penalties for defaulters


A previous social media post made by the SSB noted that there are severe penalties in place for employers who default on their obligations to pay the Social Security Board on behalf of their employees.

According to the SSB, the employer is liable to pay a surcharge of five percent of the amount in contributions payable for that month.

The SSB further noted that employers can be prosecuted in the courts for the unpaid contributions as well as for the late or non-submission of the contribution forms.

SSB projected $74M as revenue for 2021


Meanwhile, Scatliffe-Boynes told the SFC that total revenue for the agency for 2021 was projected to be $74 million.

She explained that $38 million of that total was from collections and other income while the remaining $36 million was from returns on investment (ROI).

According to the Acting Deputy, due to adverse economic conditions and disruptions in operations, the total collection was projected below the budgeted collections for 2021 of $39 million, but that total collection was expected to be five percent more than the prior year.

She further explained that projections for revenue as of the end of 2021 revealed collections for contributions in the region of $38 million.

The Acting Director noted that the projected expenditure for the year 2021 was $40 million with 88 percent of the total expected to be pensions and benefits.

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