Citizens Advice Bureau Jersey

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Social Security Contributions

Extent: Jersey
Updated 20 December 2018

Words you may need to know


Unemployed - not working

Contribution - payment

Retirement- the legal age when you can stop work and not have to pay your contributions

Liable - something you have to do or give

Qualify - you may be entitled or able to have something

Separation - someone who leaves and no longer lives with their husband/ wife; they are separated.

Credits - this is a break in payment that can be given to you if you meet certain conditions

Pensionable age - this is the age set by Government when you can get your pension.

Claimant- the person who is claiming

Awarded - given

Incapacity benefit - a benefit given when you are unable to work through ill health

Maternity benefit - a benefit given to a mother when she is pregnant and having a baby

Survivor - the person left behind (Survivor’s benefit, the partner of the person who died)

Dispensation -  this is a special allowance


Married Women Option

Before 2001, a woman who was married could opt not to pay contributions but a new law came in on 1st April 2001 which makes men and women equal when paying Social Security Contributions. Women who married after 1st April 2001 or who first come into the Jersey Social Security system after 1st April 2001 now have to pay and need to keep up their contribution record so they qualify for a full retirement pension.


To qualify for the Married Woman's Option of not paying Social Security contributions you have to be able to show:

  • The date of your current  marriage has to be before the change in the law

  • The date when you were first liable for the Jersey Social Security scheme is before the change in the law, this means that a woman arriving in Jersey for the first  time after 1st April 2001 will not qualify for the Married Woman's Option.


    No contributions are due if you are working hours are less than 8 hours per week.


    Unemployed married women who would qualify for the Married Woman's Option may choose to pay Class 2 Contributions to keep up their payment record. See also Para 17 Home Responsibility Protection. 


    Married women on separation - who qualify for the Married Woman's Option

    It is important that a married woman who separates from her husband thinks about paying full contributions if working, or class 2 contributions if not working, to protect her benefits in future (these include Incapacity Allowance/Pension and pension rights). After divorce, she will have to pay Class 1 or Class 2 contributions.


    Divorced women and contributions - Liability for contributions

    A married woman should let Customer and Local Services know as soon as her marriage has ended through divorce because she will straight away have to pay a contribution as a single person, even if she had in the past chosen not to pay as a married woman.


    She is liable for a contribution whether she is employed or not, and will pay Class 2 contributions if she has a very low income from earnings, or is self-employed, or non-employed. These are very large contributions and if the woman cannot afford to pay them, she can ask for dispensation (but will have a lower contribution record which will affect her pension and other benefits)


    Self-Employed or Non-Employed-Class 2 Contributions



    Part-time employees

    No contribution needs be paid for employees who work less than eight hours per week for any one employer.


    Home responsibility protection

    Credits can be awarded to a parent, step parent or person living with and looking after a child under the age of five years. The person does not need to be married or a different sex to the partner. The credits can be given to a person of either sex. They must be over eighteen years of age and under pensionable age. A maximum of ten years of Home Responsibility Protection can be awarded. The claimant needs to have been living on the island for a minimum of six months.


    The credits given protect an old age pension and survivor's benefit but cannot count towards incapacity or maternity benefits.


    Home Responsibility Protection stops when the youngest child starts school, or credits have been awarded for a period of ten years.


    Also see:



    Widows and widowed fathers entitled to the Survivor's Benefit are, without asking, let off from paying contributions during the first year after the death of their partner, after this time the survivor is liable to pay contributions. During the first year credits will be awarded.