The Social Security Fund (abbreviated to FSS in Macao) advises beneficiaries to regularly check their social security contribution records. In particular, employees should regularly confirm that their employers have paid contributions for them on time in order to protect their own rights and interests. In addition, after an employee leaves, he or she should also check whether his or her former employer has stopped making contributions for him or her. Otherwise, such improper contributions may also harm the interests of the employee.
The benefit payments of the social security system include old-age pension, disability pension, birth allowance, marriage allowance, sickness allowance, unemployment allowance and funeral allowance. Beneficiaries of the social security system can enjoy the above rights and protections as long as they meet the statutory requirements, which include the contribution requirement. However, if an employer fails to fulfil the obligation to pay contributions for the employee, it may affect the employee’s claim for social security benefits, for example, a person applying for marriage allowance, if not currently receiving old-age or disability pension, must have at least nine months of contributions within 12 months prior to the calendar quarter of the wedding day. If the employer fails to make contributions for his or her employee on time, it may result in the delays for the approval of the marriage allowance because the employee does not meet the statutory contribution requirement.
In addition, after an employee leaves, if the former employer is still making contributions for him or her, it may also prejudice the employee’s interests. Let’s say, if the beneficiary is later involuntarily unemployed or disabled (i.e., temporariliy or permanently loses all working ability or earning ability), he or she can apply unemployment allowance or disability pension to the FSS, however, if the employer continues to make contributions for the employee after he or she leaves, the employee may be deemed to be still in service and capable of working or earning a living, which violates the qualifying conditions for the relevant benefits, thus affecting the beneficiary’s application and approval of the above benefits.
To protect individual social security interests, the FSS encourages residents to regularly check their personal contribution records. Residents can also make enquiries through self-service machines with FSS label which are located in various locations in Macao, or they may log in to the “Online Services” of the FSS website at www.fss.gov.mo, or sign in with their “Conta Única de Acesso Comum” account or ePass account; or call the 24-hour interactive voice response hotline at 2823 8238. Residents should immediately report any abnormalities of their contribution records to the FSS.
The FSS also has a mechanism to spot check whether the employer fulfils the obligation to pay social security contributions on time and in accordance with the law. Late payment of contributions is subject to late payment interest, and the violator may even be fined. If the employer is suspected of misrepresenting a labour relationship, the FSS will hand the case to the competent department for verification, and the offender will even be sent to the judicial department for follow up action.