2017 UIF Increase: The Facts

Updated on 7 July 2017 with information about uFiling issues

You might have heard about an increase regarding the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). We would like to provide some clarity on this issue, which seems to have been creating some confusion.

There has, in fact, been an increase. However, this increase has been to the limit that must be used by the UIF to calculate benefit amounts – not contributions. With effect from 1 April 2017, the monthly limit for calculating benefits has been increased from R14,872 to R17,712, as per the Minister of Labour’s notice in the Government Gazette (of 17 March 2017). The corresponding new annual and weekly limits for calculating benefits are R212,539 and R4,087, respectively.

As far as the monthly limit for contributions goes, it has not been changed yet. Therefore, SimplePay must still apply a monthly limit of R14,872 to UIF contributions calculated on the system. As a result, the maximum monthly contributions remain R148.72 for the employee and the employer. This is in line with information received from SARS and opinions expressed by well-known tax experts.

Before any changes can be made to the system, the Minister of Finance has to announce an increase to the limit that must be used when calculating contributions. Currently, there is no indication of when such an announcement will be made, and until such time that an announcement is made, the limits for calculating benefits and contributions will remain out of sync. As soon as an increase to the contribution limit is announced, the system will be updated to ensure that you remain compliant.

Even though SARS and SimplePay are correctly using the existing monthly contribution limit of R14,872, it has come to our attention that uFiling is applying an erroneously updated limit of R17,712. This has already been reported to the UIF Commissioner, and they are busy investigating and working on fixing this issue.

SimplePay users can use our direct submission function, which sends an electronic file to the UIF that bypasses the incorrect calculations being performed by uFiling. More information can be found here.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you.

The SimplePay Team

UIF Reform Postponed

In February, the Finance Minister announced a proposed reform that would see the UIF earnings cap reduced to R1000. This essentially means that no matter how much anyone earns, UIF deductions would only be calculated from a maximum amount of R1000.

In other words only 1% of R1000 would be deducted from an individual’s salary – R10! Added to that, should anyone earn below R1000 then only 1% of that pay would be reserved. Whereas currently for a person earning R5000, the UIF deducted would be R50. It is clear to see that this proposed plan would be favourable  to every employee and employer. Employers are also required to put up an equivalent UIF amount for each worker, thereby making the overall contribution 2%.

The minister faced opposition and a result this reform has now been postponed to provide time for further public consultation.

A new effective date has not been specified but it is unlikely to be any sooner than a year’s time.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

Kind regards

SimplePay
https://www.simplepay.co.za

UIF Limit Increased

From 1 Oct. 20012, the annual limit for income subject to UIF contributions has increased from R149,736 to R178,464. That results in a new monthly limit of R14,872 and a weekly limit of R3,432.

Employees who have always earned less than the old limit (monthly R12,478), will not see any difference, they will still have the 1% deduction + 1% company contribution. However, those earnings more than the limit will see theirs increase from R124.78 per month to as much as R148.72 per month.