Treasury,
Tax & Pensions

 

The Retirement Pension Scheme is a compulsory system of state (social security) pensions which provides a minimum level, or first tier, of income in retirement for contributors.

 

Who must contribute?

 

If you are between the age of 17 and 64, resident in the Falkland Islands and earning in excess of the weekly earnings limit (£180.00 per week for 2013) you are liable to make weekly contributions to the scheme.

 

The current contribution rate is £29.00 per week (during 2013). For those in employment 50% is paid by the employer and 50% by the employee by salary deduction. Self-employed individuals are liable for the full weekly contribution.

 

Contributions Credits

 

In certain circumstances you may apply to the Retirement Pensions Board of Management to receive Contribution Credits. If approved, the Falkland Islands Government will pay for your contributions for the period requested.

 

You may apply for Contribution Credits if your total earnings are less than £180 per week (during 2013); and one of the following criteria is applicable:

 

·     You are in receipt of Family allowance;

 

·     You are looking after a person who is in receipt of an Attendance Allowance;

 

·     You are unemployed due to ill health;

 

·     You are unemployed but actively seeking employment; or,

 

·     You are following a course of prescribed education or training

 

In the event that you do not qualify for Contribution Credits you can choose to contribute voluntarily although you are under no liability to do so if your earnings are below the weekly threshold.

 

To download a Contribution Credit form please CLICK HERE

 

How do I register?

 

If you are a current contributor, you are already registered. Employers are responsible for registering new employees if they are not already registered. New self-employed persons and voluntary contributors will need to register themselves by contacting the Pensions Office on 28400.

 

Your employer’s responsibilities

 

Your employer is required to register you for a pension, and to pay weekly employer contributions. Your employer is also required to deduct your weekly contributions from your salary and submit payment for both contributions to the Treasury on a monthly basis. Your employer is only liable to pay the employer contribution if your earnings are above the weekly threshold. Your employer must also submit a return of all deductions and payments made, also on a monthly basis. At the end of the year your employer must submit an annual return giving details of the total deductions and payments made during that year on behalf of each employee. These forms are issued by the Tax Office.

 

If you have more than one job

 

If you have more than one job and your total weekly income from all employers is in excess of £180 per week (during 2013) you will be required to make an employee contribution. This will be deducted by whoever employs you first in each working week. The start of each working week is defined as a Monday morning. If you do not work on a Monday then it will be the following subsequent day of that week. The employer section of the contribution will also need to be made by whoever employs you first in the week.

 

If you are self-employed

 

If you are self-employed you must ensure you are registered and submit full payment for your pension contributions by the 30th June each year. You will only be liable for payment for any weeks you have earned over £180.00 per week (during 2013.)

 

Voluntary Contributions

 

In some cases you may be eligible to make voluntary contributions. You cannot make contributions from before your date of entry into the Falkland Islands; but you can continue contributing from overseas by registering as a voluntary contributor upon leaving the islands. The current weekly rate for overseas contributions is £35.20 (2013).

 

In order to enhance your partial pension you may also register as a voluntary contributor after your 64th birthday. The latest you can defer claiming your pension and making voluntary contributions is up to age 70. You cannot, however, contribute after you begin claiming your pension.

 

You can pay voluntary contributions on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Payments can be made via standing order, direct transfer, over the counter at the bank, or by a cheque addressed to the Pensions Office. If you make payment by any means other than by standing order with Standard Chatered Bank your payment must be accompanied by a remittance slip which you can ask for at the counter.

 

If contributions are being paid by standing order please ensure you detail your pension ID on the form. If you do not know your pension ID please contact the Pensions Office on 28400.

 

Interest on late contributions

 

In accordance to Section 15 of the 1996 RPC Ordinance, The Retirement Pensions Board of Management are liable to charge an interest on all outstanding debts at the rate of 5% per annum which dates further than 1 year in arrears.

 

What you get in return

 

The current standard full pension rate is £134 per week (2013).

 

In order to qualify for a full pension you must make 2,200 contributions, or more, to the scheme. If you make between 250 and 2,200 contributions you will receive a partial pension when you retire based on the number of contributions you have made. If you are no longer in employment, or leave the Falkland Islands, you may make voluntary contributions in order to achieve the minimum 250 contributions required to be eligible for a partial pension upon retirement.

 

It should be noted that under the terms of the Retirement Pension Ordinance 1996 contributions are non-refundable, therefore if you make less than 250 contributions by age 70 you will not get a refund and will not be eligible for a pension.

 

Your pension is calculated using the following formula:

 

            (number of contributions made) x (full pension rate) = (your pension)

                         2200

 

If you are a voluntary contributor, you will receive a partial or full pension on the same basis as a normal contributor.

 

Payment of Pensions

 

Retirement pensions are not payable until you reach the age of 64, unless you are a widow or a widower whereby the pension is payable from age 60. You can defer claiming your pension up until age 70 if you wish.

 

Pensions are paid a month in arrears. At the point you become eligible to receive your pension, you need to make a claim to the Retirement Pensions Board of Management before any payment will be made.

 

CLICK HERE to download a claim form or alternatively contact the Pensions Office.

 

Please ensure you include the bank account details of where you would like your pension to be paid on your Pension Claim From, these can be changed at any time by contacting the Pensions Office.

 

Pensions can be paid anywhere in the world. If you are no longer resident in the Falklands Islands your pension will be paid to you on a monthly basis by a sterling cheque at no extra charge. This can be sent either directly to your home address, or alternatively to your bank.

 

If you would like your pension to be paid via telegraphic transfer the recipient will be responsible for any charges issued by both the sending and receiving banks.

 

If you are resident in the Falkland Islands your pension will be paid monthly in arrears into your Standard Chartered Bank account approximately 3 working days before the end of the month.

 

Keeping in Contact

 

If you move away from the Falkland Islands it is vital you keep the Pensions Office informed of your address so any relevant information can be sent to you.

 

Current Rates

 

To download a list of our current contributions and pension rates please CLICK HERE

 

If you require any further information please contact the Pensions Office on 28416 or email pensionsclerk@sec.gov.fk