Around 6,000 employers registered at SSF so far

Kathmandu, October 16

Nearly 6,000 employers and 85,000 employees have been registered for the contribution-based social security scheme for the formal sector firms so far. The numbers fall far short of the 923,000 firms registered at the Office of Company Registrar and hints at possibility of thousands of formal sector employees being left out of the scheme, as the deadline given to companies to submit their details and that of their staff is ending tomorrow.

Kapilmani Gyawali, executive director at Social Security Fund (SSF), informed that the fund has collected total deposits amounting to Rs 50 million till date.

Earlier, the government had set the final deadline for firms to register their details by the end of fiscal year 2018-19. But, owing to lukewarm response, the government had extended the deadline for registration by three months to October 17.

The government has, however, not announced how the companies that are not registered at SSF will be penalised.

“The number of firms that have approached us for registration has gone up significantly recently,” Gyawali said, adding that a large number of applications are in the process of being registered.

“Our target is to register at least 100,000 companies before the deadline.”

Employers, on the other hand, do not seem very keen in registering at the fund doubting proper utilisation of the deposited money and returns. “Some employers, especially in the banking sector, have repeatedly sought clarification on what would happen to the deposited amount. We have asked them to get registered first and that we will address their concerns through discussions,” he said.

He claimed that the government has expedited its awareness programmes urging formal sector companies to register at SSF. “Most of the companies that employ more than 500 workers are already registered and some small sized firms and banks remain.”

He informed SSF has started communicating with outsourcing firms to join the scheme. Reportedly nearly 400,000 workers are employed by these businesses.

“Sooner or later all firms will have to join the scheme. So, those that get registered and start making regular deposits to the fund will get benefits sooner,” he said.

The government had launched the scheme on November 26. Under it, the employer would contribute 20 per cent of the basic salary of the employees and the latter would contribute 11 per cent to the fund. Of the contributed amount, 3.22 per cent will be utilised for medical, health and maternity benefits; 4.52 per cent for accidental and disability benefits; 0.87 per cent for dependent family members and 91.39 per cent for old-age security. The government plans to extend the scheme for workers in informal sector soon.