By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Social Security Fund (FSS) will today mail notification letters to the around 28,500 eligible elderly residents, who can then lodge their applications starting next Monday to become a non-mandatory contributor and make a one-off retroactive contribution under the new social security system to be effective on January 1, 2011.
The temporary service centre to deal with the applications will also be open in the “glass house” at Tap Seac Square from December 6 until March 31, 2011.
According to FSS president Ip Peng Kin at a press conference yesterday, between 140,000 and 150,000 Macau residents are expected to register with the FSS to become a monthly contributor after the new social security system comes into effect.
In order to avoid crowds of applicants, applications will be divided into three periods starting as early as December 6.
The 28,500 eligible residents aged 65 or above will be mailed the notification letters and application forms beginning today, those aged between 35 and below 65 will be the second group scheduled to receive the paperwork in January 2011, and those aged between 18 and below 35 will have to wait until May 2011.
After receiving the mail from the FSS, residents can immediately hand in their applications to any of the 85 locations, including the General Union of the Neighbourhood Associations, the Federation of Trade Unions, the Women’s General Association, Caritas Macau, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Tap Seac “glass house” as well as the FSS premises.
The FSS will strive to complete each application within two months, subject to the number of applicants it has on hand.
Application forms can also be downloaded at http://www.fss.gov.mo or obtained at the above 85 locations. Ip said eligible applicants aged between 18 and below 35 years can submit their applications before May 2011, but he advises them not to do so since January to April is a “busy period” for FSS.
Since the law states that non-mandatory contributors can only start contributing to the system in the month when they are successfully registered with the FSS, Ip stressed that as long as applicants meet the requirements to become a social security contributor, they are allowed to choose to make a retrospective contribution dating back to January 2011 the earliest.
However, he reminded that applications that are submitted after July 31, 2011 will not be able to benefit from the retrospective contribution measure.
On the other hand, contributors aged 65 or above and have made less than 60 months of contributions before January 1, 2011 will have the right to choose to stay in the old society security system or to be transferred to the new system in which a one-off retroactive contribution is required.
If they stay in the old system, they will have to continue to make the MOP 45 monthly contributions until having accumulated 60 months and after that they can receive the whole lot of MOP 1,700 age pension per month from the FSS.
But if they choose to make a retroactive contribution now in order to reach the 60-month requirement, they can receive the age pension immediately but the amount will be calculated based on the total months of their contributions divided by 360 months.