A two-day interactive forum organized by the National Social Security & Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) to educate public and private-sector employers and employees on the new NASSCORP Act has ended in Monrovia.
The forum was held from March 21 – 22, 2018, and its first session was dedicated to the public sector employers and employees, while the last session was devoted to the private sector.
Welcoming participants to the forum, Director-General Dewitt vonBallmoos said the purpose of the forum was to make Liberians understand the workings of NASSCORP as regards the handling of their contributions, the processing of claims and the payment of benefits.
He disclosed that the entity has extended its operations throughout the country to allow those outside of Montserrado County feel the impact of their contributions towards national development.
The NASSCORP boss told participants his administration had completed several projects, including the LRA Office Complex located at the ELWA Junction, a little over US$1.5 million housing units in Brewerville, the Kakata project, the 24th Street Office Complex, the Buchanan and Lofa facilities.
Mr. vonBallmoos stressed that all housing units erected by NASSCORP are intended to help ease the deplorable conditions experienced by Liberians relative to inadequate affordable housing for low-income earners.
He urged participants to take the forum seriously, as it would afford them the opportunity to learn about the new Act of the Corporation.
Director-General vonBallmoos assured participants that the forum will be held twice a year to allow more Liberians to participate, and that future fora will focus on those living outside Montserrado.
Mr. vonBallmoos urged contributors to adhere to NASSCORP’s compliance policies, stating that it would enable the corporation to work and move forward.
He underscored the importance of employees registering in line with the corporation’s system as required, in order to avoid complication, adding, “If an employee registered with a particular name, then in due course he/she makes a change to the same name, it would make it complicated for our staff to pay such person.”
Also speaking at the occasion, NASSCORP Deputy Director-General Nya D. Twayen, Jr. revealed that the new schemes came about as a result of a four-year reform process recommended by Actuaries, intended to put NASSCORP on par with sister institutions relative to international best practices and standards.
He said the schemes came into being last year as an outcome of the work of a national working committee, comprising the Civil Service Agency, the Ministry of Labor, Governance Commission and NASSCORP, which drafted the new Act.
The NASSCORP Deputy boss informed participants that contribution rate under the new Schemes is 10%--2% under the Employment Injury Scheme and 8% under the National Pension Scheme, with 4% coming from employees and 4% from employers.
“In keeping with the reform, the retirement or pension benchmark of 25 years of service under the Civil Service Law is improved, in that an employee can continue his or her service for another five years or at the age of 65,” he disclosed.
According to the reform, widowers can now receive benefits in respect of their deceased wives, which they could not do in the past.
At the forum, several presentations were made by various speakers, including those on the Overview of NASSCORP, Registration, Contribution Records, Claims and Benefits, Inspection, Investments and Beneficiary Service. All presentations were followed by questions and answers.
For their part, participants at the forum lauded NASSCORP Management for the opportunity given them to clearly understand “what it means to pay taxes to government as private or public employees.”
The participants also commended the NASSCORP Management for its investment program designed to yield returns for the long-term sustainability of the social security program.
It can be recalled that on December 27, 2016, the National Legislature passed an Act repealing Decree No. 14 of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia and creating a new Chapter 89 of the Executive Law establishing the National Social Security & Welfare Corporation of the Republic of Liberia. The Act was approved by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on February 13, 2017 and printed into handbill.
The new Act, among other things, broadened the coverage of NASSCORP to include the President and the Cabinet, the National Legislature, the Judiciary and members of the Para-military organizations as well as increased the contribution rate.