Pensioning Off Our Senior Citizens, The Most Idiotic Decision Of The Year

Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour and Social Security

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will pay all federal benefit and non-tax payments electronically. Benefit recipients can choose to receive their payments by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card account. You must make the switch from paper federal benefit checks to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Learn more or sign up now.

Source: www.godirect.org

The decision by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to retreat from distributing pensions to bank accounts only is the correct one. To inflict such hardship on our most senior of senior citizens reflects a level of uncouthness and inconsideration by those responsible. BU surmises that if Director of the NIS Ian Carrington recommended the change in policy, the Board headed by retired banker Tony Marshall – who reports to Minister Esther Byer-Suckoo – should have blocked the idiotic proposal. It has the smell of Tony Marshall, who possibly rammed it down Minister Suckoo’s throat. Whether it occurred as described or not, it demonstrates weak leadership on the part of the government and in particular Dr. Byer-Suckoo.

Did the NIS complete a benefit analysis which measured not only the financial impact but social as well? Barbados is a small island which is partly defined by its personable makeup. Would it not have made more sense to run a campaign to encourage pensioners with bank accounts who are receiving cheques to switch? Such an approach would have tested the appetite of the pensioners for making the change, sensitize pensioners to how NIS principals are thinking and intelligently inform the right decision. It is ironic that in the most impersonal of countries, the USA, the same same move is currently being processed but on a phased basis.

Why would a government about to enter general election mode try to rollout such a disruptive policy? Is our government so out of tune with the reality of the situation? Are they so driven by the economics of the decision that every other consideration becomes inconsequential? It challenges the perception that the DLP is more easily persuaded to implement more social programs compared to the BLP.

It is scary to contemplate that these are the people we are making decisions everyday which will impact our lives and those of our children now and the future.

  • @scout

    you are one uneducated dunce. You need to get real. You came with that drug service agrument and you were shown to be hopeless. How can u make make such stupid statments over and over. IT SEEMS U LIKE TO READ THE NONSENSE YOU CONTINUE to put on this blog. As a friend of mine once said to a manager, you like u aint responsible for the junk u does write..

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  • @David and Observing

    We will see that all I have to say at this time. She is from the community also.

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  • But David, no board decision to make direct deposits mandatory would mean no board minute to that effect and the Minister would likely be unaware.

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  • Obediant
    Maybe you should be renamed DISOBEDIANT, you’re certainly looking above the average elderly bajan. I’ve seen the way outpatients are treated at the QEH like they are the outcast, then to find out that the medication prescribed by the doctors are not in stock so the patients have to come back. Some of these are very old persons, some with walking sticks , some with walkers ans some in wheel chairs. Do you think the elderly, who have given so much to this country for little financial gain, should be treated this way? If I’m talking foolishness, then you have your head in the clouds, the problem is too many of you are so attachjed to a political party that they can do no wrong in your eyes. I would continue to speak on behalf of the down troddened and those who cannot speak for themselves. the fact that bajans are living long is posing a major problem to government whether DLP or BLP, than is why the pension age was raised to 66 or whatever, it is to the benefit of the NIS when a retired person expires within a month or so after they stop work, the family gets a $1000.00 funeral grant and the rest goes into the treasury; over the last year or so much of this is happening. Obediant, stop sticking your head in the clouds and face reality.

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  • @Trained Economist

    Then it means the Director acted alone?

    Don’t believe it!

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  • It might not be so simple. It seems to me that a mandate to step up the direct deposit program was interpreted or communicated to the public in a particular manner. The board members I have spoken to are very clear that there was no board decision to make direct deposits mandatory. There appears to have been agreement for direct deposits to bepromoted as the default option as opposed to the current situation where cheques are the default.

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  • Trained Economist is making valid argument but my problem is that if the nation was reporting the story wrong why the nis didn’t take them to task about it. When there was an outcry of the policy that the nis didn’t state all of the policy, to deny that it was mandatory that the program was largely optional and a way of streaming payments for more efficient delivery and access of funds. I think that a scape goat it being looked for either in the nation or the board.

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  • Agree Anthony, there is a missing piece of the puzzle.

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  • Trained Economist is flying a heavy kite.
    No Board and no Director of the operational arm of a board in Barbados acts in the way he suggests unless the director is totally inept and inexperienced. As for the Minister not being informed of the campaign to change the methodology before it got rolling, that boggles the mind. Somebody slipped up and it could be as simple as the Chairman telling the Director exactly what he wanted to be done and the Director following through without giving the matter any significant thought.

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  • Checkit-out wrote:
    “Somebody slipped up and it could be as simple as the Chairman telling the Director exactly what he wanted to be done and the Director following through without giving the matter any significant thought”.

    That sounds more like the version of events that I heard.

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  • But check it out and Caswell, the scenarios you just mention would be consistent with the board and minister being unaware of any position of mandatory deposits.

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  • Trained Economist

    I never said that the Minister, or any of the Cabinet, was aware of the decision to discontinue cheques before it was communicated to the public. I am informed that the only reason the decision was reversed was that a particular Minister was fearful of losing his seat, because of the backlash.

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  • I understand that it was the arrogant Tony Marshall who made the decision to change the system of payment of pensions. Employees said that they thought Jepter was the worse Chairman but Phony Marshall takes the cake.

    Poor Mrs Byer Suckoo could not stand up to him. NIS now has to worry about expenditure because the NIS funds are being used up daily by the government to pay its bills and as such has no control over its cash flow.

    By the way, has Phony tendered his resignation, he is to return to VOB to do his DLP promotion as election draws near.

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  • Prodigal
    Would you pleeze stop calling my husband’s name? Tek he name out ya mout/snout.

    TONY MARSHALL I luv you wid a passion. muahhhhhhhhhhh.
    Cannnnnnnnnnnn wait til ya get back pun Brass Tax. De show did deadddd widout you. ya too swoiteeeeeeeeee Tony. I luv de laff bad. Doan mind de parasites like Prodigal. Rentokil gun tek care a dem fa we.

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  • You dont know this man, he is the most arrogant person you can ever come across. I would know, I worked with him.

    VOB should be ashamed to let him back on their airwaves. If he was spinning for the BLP, you would not want him back on the airwaves, you’d be cussing him like you do most people on this blog. But he spins for the DLP, so he’s lovable for you. I pity you.

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  • @Bonny

    You mean i have to put he in my fruit basket, you are becoming very avaricious. I am going to ask that something be devloped to cut your apppetite for all these men in public life. lol

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  • @Scout

    I suggest you check with nis about pensions benefits viz a viz those who would have worked in the private sector and those who would have worked in the govt sector. Also check out what happened if the pensioners were married and if they had dependents at death. Check out if there is comething callled survivor’s benefit. Are u sure the funeral grant is still $1000.

    I await your response.

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  • I guess it was only a matter of time before NIS had to back it. With the iadb application ( still hasn’t been approved i guess on of the conditions would be government co financing ) giving a first loan of 52 million us and second long of 30 million us for the 137 million us project. they still need another 55 million us in finance. With a 80 million bds injection they just need to get another 15 million us.

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  • They have no other choice because the government talks before it thinks. How is the Pickering project?

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  • Prodigal
    You rale jellus. dat is your probalem. I luv Tony Marshall wid a passhun n you cannnnn stop um. be he arrogant or ignorant, de luv still flowin. N who tell you dat i doan prefer arrogant ova ignorant? stupseeeeeeeeeeee. you does mek me rale sick , hare? Jellusies doan stir na mo. N eff he was spinnin fa de BLP, you would welcum he back wid open armz. Ah lie?? ya tu one-sided but ya inherit dah frum ya ‘party’. wunna-all rale one-sided.

    obediant
    LOLLL
    Now why ya want ta cut a good gurl like me appetite? but ya notice dat I luv de men wid ‘brainz’? afta ‘rall, ya know wah does happen when two fools collide? LOL
    Rite now de one dat I gine crazee bout is de CJ. Oh my gawd. whenevva I see he in de papah, I does get whet all ova n my tong does get a hard-awn jess tinkin bout wah i cud do wid he. He look soft n suck-ulent. Hare’s a fu moe ta add ta de ‘basket’ fa ma. Sir Gary, Sir Don, Sir Carl Hooper, Warwick Franklin,n he brudda Vallan. LOL

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  • Caswell Franklyn | September 25, 2011 at 11:21 PM |

    Checkit-out wrote:
    “Somebody slipped up and it could be as simple as the Chairman telling the Director exactly what he wanted to be done and the Director following through without giving the matter any significant thought”.

    That sounds more like the version of events that I heard.
    —————————
    TRUE !

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  • @Bonny

    I like i dont know what to do with you, you to hot bosie. i gun send u a sloar pwoerd aidcondition union, i gun soon get one installed bosie.

    @Scout

    You took very long to repsond to me, so i am going to start you off. I checked with a school mate who works at nis and she told me that the funeral grant is $1815. As I have said before u does write junk on this site and mislead people. If i had the personality like my fried bonny i would tell you that you does write bear shoite. I will make you wiser on the pesnio issue as i confirm what in my memory is what currently obtains.

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  • obediant
    I don’t life on the blog, so I respond when it’s possible. If there is an increase in funeral grants, then THANKS for telling me, since quite recently I was Executor to a friends estate and I only recieved a funeral of $1000.00. I didn’t wait for information from a friend, this is what happened to me. I don’t play games with politics, since I have no political friends, I do have friends who are politicians from both sides.

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  • @Scout

    I am saying to you that you need to get your facts before you writ e so when your write it is from a position of current knowledge and not staleand outdated infrom ation, else you will continue to make your self an ass and come to the wrong conclusion. Come on, you have a politcal axe to grind, some of us try to disguis our preference but eventually it is shown, and your prefernece is ovious.

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  • The problem is not the postage. To cut cost they are looking at the wrong place. There is a lot of abuse going at NIS. First people to blame are doctors.
    I work for a company with 10 employees, on average we get 8 weeks of sick leave certified by dotors per year. NIS pays for that.

    One example:
    In April 2011, we hired a 24 years old, healthy new employee, a month later in May this new employee requested a vacation for 2 weeks in August to go to New York. Vacation was declined by management, as the employee is new and is still on training. Guess what happens next! In August on the exact dates of the vacation request, on Monday the employee did not show up to work, and later in the afternoon a friend delivered a 2 weeks doctor certified sick leave, and two weeks later on the day the employee is supposed to be back to work, we received another two weeks certified sick leave. In total this employee took 4 weeks sick leave for lower back pain. Now she is back. We believe she was vacationing in New York at the expense of NIS. Ofcourse company is hurting too.

    In January we had an employee who was on sick leave for almost 4 weeks for migraine. They are all receiving NIS.

    Doctors are depleting the pensions.

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  • @Cleopatra Jones
    How dare you question the integrity of the doctors? Obviously you never had lower back pain or a migraine before. Lower back pain can practically cripple you and those who suffer with migraine can tell you that a migraine headache can sometimes last for up to a week or more. What you should be concern with is the type of workstation your employees have to work at is the chair too narrow? Is the back rest supportive enough? Does the computer screen have a guard against the glare? Is the room well lit, especially over the employees work stations.
    You seem to jump to conclusions about staff too quickly maybe you are judging people on your own standards.
    Let tell you about a case with me, some years ago I took up a new job on the west coast within a short time I kept coming down with these coughing fits and nothing my doctor prescribed really help and he wanted to give me sick leave but I refused it. A young lady in the office (receptionist) always seemed to have laryngitis and was on sick leave often. The problem was there were bats living in the roof and the dander from the droppings was effecting us in the office.
    I would urge not to question doctors integrity too quickly they went to medical school not you and sometimes the reason staff fall ill is because the work environment is not healthy.

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  • @Cleopatra Jones: “In April 2011, we hired a 24 years old, healthy new employee, a month later in May this new employee requested a vacation for 2 weeks in August to go to New York. Vacation was declined by management, as the employee is new and is still on training. Guess what happens next! In August on the exact dates of the vacation request, on Monday the employee did not show up to work…

    So then guess what?

    You should have formally dismissed that employee immediately. Since they obviously did not care about the job and they were still on probation.

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  • Cleopatra Jones
    I agree with Christopher, that guy should have been removed since he was on probation. There are too many cases of employees going to their doctors and requesting time off from work for some strange ailment. When I was a junior in my work place, I would always hear guys say, “man test match coming up, I gine and tell my doctor I want two weeks.” this is nothing new. However, the depleting of the NIS funds is because of misuse by both governments. There was a time when banks were refusing money from the NIS because they could not lend it out fast enough, then government started dipping their hands in it and it felt good, so they dipped a little more then a little more until now they are beginning to see the bottom of the barrel

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  • i understand that there is a significant backlog of cases awaiting hearing by the appeals tribunals at nis. i understand that persons seeking to have their appeals heard by these tribunals sometimes have to wait in excess of two years for a hearing and then more for judgment. i would have thought that in the interest of justice the nis would bemore inclined to move speedily to put mechanisms in place to address thuis deficiency rather than trying to place an unnecessary burden on the bavks of already overburdened pensioners.over to you suckoo.

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