Voluntary Contributors

Definition Of A Voluntary Contributor

A Voluntary contributor is an Insured person who does not satisfy the conditions under which he may contribute as an employee or self-employed person, and who, as a result, opts to contribute on his own behalf on a voluntary basis.

If you retire from work early and decide to migrate to a foreign country, you can enhance your pension by continuing to pay your contributions as a Voluntary Contributor.

Eligible Persons For Voluntary Contributors Status

The following categories of insured persons may be eligible for Voluntary Contributors status:

  • An employee ordinarily resident in Dominica who is transferred to work overseas by a locally based employer in continuation of his work in Dominica. His employer must continue paying contributions as if the employee was still based in Dominica. However, such coverage by the DSS shall only continue for a maximum period of one year. Subsequent to this, DSS coverage can only continue if the employee contributes as a Voluntary Contributor.
  • An employee who is no longer engaged in gainful employment in Dominica may opt to continue paying as a Voluntary Contributor providing that he satisfies the conditions relating to Voluntary insurance coverage.
  • A Self-employed person who is no longer engaged in gainful employment in Dominica, may opt to continue paying as a Voluntary Contributor providing that he satisfies the conditions relating to Voluntary insurance.

Voluntary Coverage Conditions

Before an Insured Person can be granted Voluntary Contributor status, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • He must be between the ages of 18 and the Age of Retirement.
  • He must be ordinarily resident in Dominica.
  • He must have ceased to be liable for contributing either as an employee or self-employed person.
  • He must have paid at least 104 Contributions.


A person wishing to obtain Voluntary Contributor status must apply to the Director no later than 52 weeks after ceasing employment in Dominica. Upon registration, a Voluntary Contributor’s Certificate will be issued to the applicant.

Payment Of Voluntary Contributors Contributions

The contributions payable by a Voluntary Contributor shall be based on the average annual income for the two years immediately preceding the date of cessation of employment in Dominica. The Rate of Contribution payable is 11.65% of such average annual income, and may be paid on an annual basis, or by monthly installments.

A Voluntary Contributor may lose his status if he fails to settle all outstanding contributions due within 26 weeks from the end of the Contribution year.

Definition Of A Contribution

Each weekly payment received on behalf of an Insured Person is referred to as a Contribution. Each such contribution is converted to a Credit. Thus, an Insured Person who worked for an entire month is entitled to 4 or 5 Credits depending on the number of Mondays in that month. By extension, the entitlement for an entire year is 52 or 53 Credits, depending on the number of Mondays in the year.

The number of Credits an Insured Person has recorded against his number determines:

  • Whether or not he will qualify for benefit.
  • What percentage of his salary he will receive as his pension.

Benefits Voluntary Contributors Qualify For

Voluntary Contributors currently qualify for Long-Term benefits. The benefit payable is a function of the number of Contributions (or Credits) which a person has recorded against his account, and his average income for the best 3 of the last 10 working years. Having determined the Claimant’s Average earnings, the Claimant is paid a percentage of such Average Earnings. The percentage payable depends on the number of Credits that the person has earned during his insurable years. Please see the Pension Percentage Computation Chart for the percentage equivalency.

It is of interest to note that while the total Social Security contributions payable by a Voluntary Contributor is 11.65% of his income, the minimum Pension for which he may qualify is 30% of his AWIE.

The Long-term benefits being paid by DSS are as follows:

  • Age Pension
  • Age Grant
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Invalidity Grant
  • Survivors Pension
  • Survivors Grant

In addition, a lump sum Funeral Grant is provided to assist with the burial expenses of an Insured Person, his or her spouse, and/or their dependent children. The Grant is payable to the person(s) who has met, or is liable to meet the burial expenses.

Medical Referee

A Medical Referee is a medical practitioner (or a group of medical practitioners) appointed to independently evaluate the medical condition of a patient who has been referred to him for evaluation by the Dominica Social Security.

Dependent Children

Dependent Children are all the biological children, step children, or legally adopted children of a deceased Insured Person who at the date of the parent’s death was below the age of 18, and was living with, or wholly or mainly maintained by the deceased.

Certificate Of Life Form

A Certificate of Life form is a certificate attesting to the fact that the Pension recipient is alive and in receipt of his pension. The form must be signed by the pensioner in the presence of a witness who must be one of the following persons: Justice of the Peace; Notary Public; Lawyer; Police Officer (Sergeant or above); Ordained Minister of Religion; Doctor; Family Nurse Practitioner; School Principal; Licensed Surveyor; Banker or Credit Union senior Personnel; Social Security Departmental Manager or Compliance/Field Officer. For benefit recipients residing overseas, the Certificate of Life form must be notarized.

Click here to download the Certificate of Life form.

Retirement of Insured Persons

For information on Retirement Age and Pension, click here.