Pension Reform for Public Officer a Priority (including Members of Parliament a Priority)

The blogmaster found the comment posted by Critical Analyzer interesting even if provocative. What we can agree is that pension form in the public service- including for members of parliament – must be given a priority. The issue is compounded with the state of the National Insurance Fund that we are left to speculate.

Pension Reform as the world tries to do it now is only kicking the can down the road with the warmed over soup gimmicks of every few years increasing the retirement age, changing pension formulas and raising contributions rates while government borrowing from the pension funds for their projects.

Our pension reform needs to completely break the mold

1) For every person currently 50 years or less, change their pension age back tot 65 and have NIS pay an across the board universal basic pension (UBP) calculated based on the cost to cover a one bedroom rental, utilities and food for a single pensioner living alone. Anyone wanting more pension at retirement should seek private pension plans and other investment opportunities during their working years if they desire a higher standard of living.

2) Persons 51 and older would remain under the current arrangements with any shortfalls for the year covered by an unfunded pensions tax. This pension tax would eventually reduce and go away as the numbers under the old arrangement die out.

3) Since healthcare is the biggest money problem for pensioners, work on improving the quality and turnaround time for our taxpayer funded healthcare while bending healthcare costs down through novel approaches e.g. a requirement for medical license renewal could be a minimum amount of pro bono work at government medical facilities or referrals for free outpatient surgical procedures.

Critical Analyzer

177 thoughts on “Pension Reform for Public Officer a Priority (including Members of Parliament a Priority)

  1. William Skinner March 20, 2022 12:29 PM

    “We definitely seem to be confusing each other!”

    You believe Moore is incompetent. I “introduced Comrade Trotman’s consultancy at BWU” to support an ALTERNATIVE OPINION that it is ONE of the REASONS why she has not been allowed to function in her capacity as GS, without being ‘shadowed.’

    ‘Nothing more, nothing less.’

    And, as I ‘said’ previously, I did not mention anything about Sir Roy being on the BLP and Moore’s platform, because I believed it was IRRELEVANT to your INITIAL DISCUSSION about the lady’s tenure at BWU.

    So, I was trying to figure out how the discussion suddenly deviated from focusing on Toni Moore’s tenure as GS of BWU……to Clyde Mascoll, you wanting “to strengthen your argument about the Duopoly and not being impressed by the pot calling the kettle black?”

    You guys often give the impression that there are a specific set of rules, regulations or guidelines that MUST be ADHERED TO when analyzing or criticizing Barbadian politics, political parties and politicians.

  2. @William

    NUPW must change strategy
    TRADE UNIONS in Barbados, and indeed internationally, have been on the back foot over the past two decades.
    They have been forced into a defensive position caused by the political, economic and cultural changes in society, resulting in a major shift in their traditional power.
    The labour movement needs serious soul-searching in order to survive and grow given the impact of the changes on its membership and finances.
    As the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) celebrates throughout this week it should give priority to the best way forward to make a meaningful impact in these turbulent times.
    The times when most new recruits into the public service automatically signed up for membership is no longer a guarantee.
    The breakaway over the years of a number of special interest groups within the organisation to establish their own trade unions and staff associations also meant a loss of membership and clout.
    The NUPW needs to be frank with both its members and the public by disclosing the number of people it represents. This call is not to jeer the organisation but rather for all citizens to understand not only its numerical strength but more importantly where the support is greatest. The more pressing point is that the organisation needs to change its strategy by employing the use of data and not go on emotions to drive its decisions as it seeks to be in tune with the changing workplace. Militancy and strike action
    alone will not cut it.
    As the largest public sector union, the NUPW must not be reactive to Government decisions such as pension reform but do its research and present its own white papers on major issues affecting the public sector.
    There are many pertinent matters the union should address over the next 12 months to show its members, Government and the wider society its enduring commitment to the country’s development.
    One of the big concerns for the union’s membership will be the rate of inflation and how it is impacting the cost of living. There are, however, other urgent issues.
    The digitisation of the workforce in the public sector, re-tooling and re-training of workers given the uptake of technologically driven solutions along with enhanced customer service are front-burner matters. These issues will affect the union itself. Life-long training is a necessity to fill the skills gap that will arise.
    The use of data in the public sector and how to protect that information is already a major concern that cannot be left only to senior technocrats. The union should make representation on how best to regulate the use and exchange of such material to protect both its members and the general public.
    The NUPW must seek to become more relevant for its membership and build its influence in society. It has already been given the priestly words of wisdom not to waste time.
    The NUPW must seek to become more relevant for its membership and build its influence in society.

    Source: Nation

    President says union must confront ‘sinister blight’
    The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is being called on to address the loss of confidence by some members after wellpublicised internal wranglings last year.
    President Kimberley Agard says it is “a sinister blight” which must be confronted and dealt with, “no matter how uncomfortable a subject”.
    Addressing the opening of the NUPW’s 77th annual conference on Thursday night at its Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters, she admitted the island’s largest public sector union was suffering a reduction in membership, though this was not unique to them.
    “We are challenged by the loss of confidence of some of our membership. This may not be something that we want to talk about in public, but we must face this issue head-on. Our membership in some divisions is concerned that as a workers’ union we are not meeting the requirements and standards that they demand of us,” said Agard.
    She added: “They are calling for a greater level of activism than they perceive we are providing. They are calling for a timely satisfaction of their issues and demands. Some of us may think that the loss of confidence is unwarranted, and others may be looking around in search of the person or persons to be blamed.”
    Agard became president after an election shrouded
    in controversy, a part of which was the subject of a court battle.
    “This situation did not arise overnight. In fact, loss of confidence is a sinister blight which develops gradually and sometimes almost imperceptibly. Whatever our view, this loss of confidence among some of our membership, no matter how uncomfortable a subject, must be confronted and addressed.
    “We must move quickly to show our membership what we are worth to them as a workers’ union, and prove our value-added. This does not require confrontation and pugnacious behaviour on our part. Rather, it requires a determined and evident engagement with the Government as advocates for all public servants, such that they feel satisfied that their needs are being pursued and resolved,” she said.
    Agard disclosed that as a result of the loss of membership, the union was challenged financially.
    “This problem is a direct result of the decline in membership, since revenue from dues is directly proportional to a healthy membership roll. The harsh reality confronting us is that we cannot maintain the kind of secretariat we currently have because of the vital need for us to address the changing needs of our demanding membership. This spectre must be grappled with, and we have to make some unpopular but pertinent decisions in the months ahead to ensure our survival,” she said.

    Source: Nation

  4. NUPW head wants under-40s pension plan
    Two insurance companies have been urged to develop a pension plan for people under 40 years old.
    That encouragement came from president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Kimberley Agard who said Government’s recent decision to change the full pension qualification for public sector workers from 33 years to 40 has left some workers uneasy.
    “I know there is a great level of uncertainty now among the Public Service. I know that NUPW’s will be working feverishly to bring some level of satisfaction to the members in the Public Service but I want to take this opportunity to encourage NUPW Insurance Agent Inc. and Sagicor to seriously look at developing a pension plan for members under 40,” Agard said.
    Decision criticised
    She made those comments recently during the NUPW Insurance Agent Inc. and Sagicor’s Health and Financial Fair and the launch of their new Homeowner’s Scheme at the NUPW’s headquarters in, Dalkeith.
    Since Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley recently announced the increase in qualification, the decision was criticised by NUPW general secretary Richard Green and head of Unity Workers’ Union Caswell Franklyn.
    During the ceremony, Agard said she believed many people who did not have pension plans would be interested.
    “I don’t have a pension plan and I am not alone, so I know there are some persons in my age range who would not have seen the need to secure a comfortable pension. So I think once the rates are attractive, there won’t be a scarcity of persons to join because of what is going on externally,” Agard added.
    Similar points
    Consulting executive with the NUPW Insurance Agent Inc. Tyrone Lowe, made similar points.
    However, he reasoned that was why policies such as the homeowners’
    scheme were important, especially since the workers have been under pressure.
    “There was a time when to have a career in the Public Service was seen as the thing to do because it came with a gratuity and good benefits but now, with the extension, it does look as though that privilege is being eroded to some extent.
    “And when we look at the fact the public sector has faced the brunt with the layoffs, and since there has not been a major increase in income over several years, we have to do our best to keep them happy,” Lowe said.

    Source: Nation

  5. Changes to pensionable and retirement ages
    Recently the Government announced its intention to increase the period of qualification for pension for new employees in the public service from the current 33 1/3 years to 40 years of service.
    The Government also signalled an intention to change the retirement age from the current 67 years to 70 years old. A number of union representatives have spoken out against the measure since certain public sector workers will now have to wait longer to receive their pensions.
    I consider the idea of working until 70 years old quite daunting. The World Bank estimates the average life expectancy in Barbados is 79.39 years.
    This means an employee who works until 70 years old will on average have nine years in which to enjoy his retirement, provided his health permits.
    This has always been my issue with late retirement ages. Humans are expected to “slave away” during the prime of their lives (unless you are part of the fortunate few who love what they do) and only seek personal enjoyment at the time when the body, due to age, may be less able or willing to do so.
    Promised job security
    In times past, a job within the Public Service was a coveted post as it promised job security and a guaranteed pension. These things are no longer guaranteed. New employees to the public service will need to be employed at a young enough age to work the full 40 years necessary to qualify for maximum pension.
    Furthermore, Government’s intention to convert certain public sector posts into positions held on fixed-term contracts makes job security less certain.
    Furthermore, I have repeatedly stated that the exclusion of Public Service workers from the ambit of the Employment Rights Act means public servants have fewer protections and ease of remedies than those within the private sector. When these matters are considered along with other long-standing issues within the public service, such as delays in payment of salaries and delays in addressing and remedying grievances, then employment within the Public Service is less attractive than it was in previous decades.
    The change in the qualification for pension will have more negative effects on older employees. Persons who are first hired in the Public Service during their mid- to late 30s are likely to reach the retirement age of 70 years before they meet the 40
    years of service to qualify for maximum pension.
    Additionally, those in the private sector may also be affected by the new retirement age.
    Most private sector companies have a mandatory retirement age of 65 years, even though the current pensionable age is 67 years. This creates difficulty for those employees who, having attained the age of 65, are too old to receive severance but too young to receive their pensions.
    Some do not qualify for unemployment benefits if they are in receipt of a private pension due to unemployment or will qualify to receive one within 6 months of unemployment (see regulation 48 (5) of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Benefits Regulations).
    Without proper financial planning or a subscription to a private pension fund, these persons may experience financial difficulties for the two-year period before they start receiving their pensions from NIS. If the retirement age increases to 70 years and private companies maintain a mandatory retirement age of 65 years, then employees may have a period of five years without benefits until they can receive their pensions from NIS.
    Private companies may need to revisit their mandatory retirement ages or, where possible, provide pension plans for their employees that take effect from age 65. Alternatively, employees must be more proactive with planning their retirement.
    Subscribing to a retirement fund that may provide some financial benefit from age 65 may prove prudent.
    Finally, my article last week incorrectly stated that the Employment Rights Tribunal awarded Jason Bent approximately $370 0000 as compensation for unfair dismissal.
    The figure should have been stated as $370 000.

    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney at law with a passion for employment law and labour matters and a social activist.

    Source: Nation

  6. @MR article
    If you can do basic addition and subtraction there is no need to read it.
    For those of you are challenged, I have done it for you.

    70-35=35 which is less than 40. (See below)

    “The change in the qualification for pension will have more negative effects on older employees. Persons who are first hired in the Public Service during their mid- to late 30s are likely to reach the retirement age of 70 years before they meet the 40
    years of service to qualify for maximum pension.”

  7. I am finish with this. for several reasons.There is a big gap in the information as to how the gap between the Private sector retirement age and the NIS commencement of pensions age is bridged. The NIS pension was never intended to be a livable income for the middle and upper income brackets. The Public sector needs to insist on a similar scheme for their employees.

  8. It is good to know that our honourable government is sympathetic to my proposal to raise the retirement age to 75. 70 years is a good start. I look forward to successive further increases.

    I would not be surprised if our civil servants soon have to slave away until 80, provided their average age at death rises to 80 years and 1 month.

    The best thing is to put the 80-year-old civil servants at customs at the airport or at the harbour. So that our citizens can import cars, planes, vehicle parts and prefabricated houses without paying customs duties. After all, at the age of 80, their eyesight is no longer supposed to be the best.

  9. @ Tron

    I was wondering what was the rationale for these quantum leaps towards elderly abuse. Now I know.

  10. @ David Bu
    What is wrong with the current system? Why do previous and present administrations have difficulties in forwarding contributions to the NIS?I need basic information and reasons for the change/reform.

    • @Vincent

      Good question you ask. Could it be the consolidated fund in these perilous times has contracted a leak?

  11. @ David BU at 7:52 AM
    “In these perilous times”,it is natural for economies to contract along with their components. The lock-downs, local and abroad ,shut down economies.(partially). If there is reduced economic activity,there will be reduced spending and incomes,that lead to low tax revenues. This is expected to be temporary. The purpose of borrowing was to assist in maintaining liquidity in the system and assisting those more severely affected by the contraction. If as you surmise that pensions could not be paid ,then you have a problem of financial management which could have worsened the problem. But I doubt it. I would need to see the data.It is a matter of priority.
    My general response to the question posed at caption was to continue to pay pensions out of the Consolidated Fund. GoB needs to lead by example. Private Corporations pay their portion of agreed pensions out of income. Segregation of Funds into an investment portfolio ,hoping that the yields therefrom can pay pensions is a mathematical impossibility.Pension schemes are more effective in a “pay as you go system”. Some what similar to an Insurance Company. Current premia pay current insurance pay outs.
    So hence my question: Are these reforms based on actuarial computations? What are the assumptions in the model used? Are they reasonable?

  12. David Bu at 11: 21 AM

    I am not too sure what you mean by unfunded. Is there not a line item in the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the payment of projected pensions? Is there not a line item for GoB contributions to NIS?. I do not have recent copies of the Estimates and Expenditure but they should be recorded there in.

  13. @David
    earlier @VC objected to my use of ‘unfunded’ and he is correct. They are budgeted annually, as a pay-as-you-go expense to the Consolidated account (fund). So they are funded annually vs unfunded. Unfunded as used, only implies there is no separate funding mechanism.
    Naturally as people have lived longer, this means the cost of public pensions also grows. And led to the not-so-funny quip, when it was discovered the last GoB was directing NIS deductions from public employees, not to the NIS but to the public coffers, this was taking from one pension to pay another pension? Also why, no public service pensioner or soon to be pensioner, wants this liability (their benefit) rolled into the NIS. It is advantageous to keep it as a current annual liability, and separate from the NIS.
    I will let @Tron explain the effects of a 25% cut in the size of the public service…

    • We know supporters of the status quo will make the point that government is the bank account of last resort so what does it matter:

  14. Cops: Excuse us

    Association wants police made exempt from new pension rule
    PRESIDENT OF THE POLICE ASSOCIATION Mervin Grace is calling for police officers to be the exception to Government’s pension reform, which has adjusted the qualification period for public officers from 33-and-a-third years to 40 years.
    Grace warns that the measure runs the risk of having too many old lawmen on the force who may be unable to keep up with younger criminals.
    Instead, the association is proposing a similar arrangement to that of the Barbados Defence Force, where the soldiers can retire with full benefits after 25 years.
    Grace said the matter was under consideration before by a previous administration, but it never materialised, “as some felt that it could lead to a brain drain of the force.”
    “You have senior police out here now who are getting down in age and still on the beat. Instead of trying to get younger people into the force, you have a bunch of old
    geriatrics running behind young boys with guns.
    “This is one of the major concerns of officers because at the end of the day we should be able to retire early,” said Grace, who raised the concern to Attorney General Dale Marshall during the Barbados Police Service’s Annual Grand Conference yesterday.
    He further contended: “When it was at 33 and a third years, that was already bad and to raise it now where you cannot get your benefits until after 40 years is even worse.
    “An exception should be made because we are special when one considers the work that we do. We are totally different from the rest of the Government service. No job on this island is mentioned in the Constitution except the police because we are separate and distinct, and we need to have this addressed.”
    In response, Marshall said there was merit in Grace’s argument for separate retirement age for officers. He gave the assurance that he would make the case for officers to the Prime Minister’s office.
    “In the particular case of the police officers, this issue of pension reform is one that is still being worked out in the Prime Minister’s Office. The fact is that we do have to make a change in relation to the receipt of pensions, but I am happy on your behalf to make a presentation so that the issues can be dealt with, not in terms of an informal dialogue, but from a principled position.
    “I, too, agree with you that the matter of how and when police officers work is of tremendous significance,” said Marshall He added: “It is something that we are willing to put back on the table. Like you, we cannot see police officers at an advanced age having to do some of the things that they do now because their health profile does not allow it.
    “At my age I am not sure if my knees are going to work when I wake up in the morning and I imagine that there are a few of
    you in here who have similar issues.
    “I think that we can’t just limit the discussion, but we think that there is significant benefit to considering a different retirement age for police officers and that would require the consideration of different pension opportunities.” (CLM)

    Source: Nation

  15. There is a lot of merit in what is stated, but other groups may also present a persuasive argument. Have to be careful in carving out exceptions. I’m

  16. It seems to me that we already have exceptions in retirement ages in the Public Service. There are precedents outlined in the above post. If we are guided by the principle of Equity rather than equality, the police and any other GOB employee organization can put in proposals.
    A society that cares about its members should give a willing ear and an open mind.

    • @Vincent

      You agree that considerations may change based on externalities (to borrow a word from the lexicon of your profession? Can the government afford the many pension plans? Is it a sustainable approach to take?

  17. @ NO at 2:28 PM
    One does not simply cut the size of the Public Service by 25% across the board. We know why the Public Service expanded, If it did. Therefore we must examine the source of previous expansions to satisfy our selves that they are still fit for purpose. If the departments ,SOEs etc have outlived their purpose we should terminate them. We must do this systematically, not whimsically and on the bases of personalities or political connections. Those that can be absorbed elsewhere should be retained.. It is not a number game. It is about efficiency and effectiveness.
    Can you explain to me why in a micro economy, like Barbados we need three Financial Regulatory Institutions.? Can you explain to me, If we have an excess of labour ,why are we seeking to institute capital intensive systems in the name of technological progress? Are all technological solutions an acceptable social objective OR a means to achieving desirable social objectives.
    As Coyote is wont to say:” We are putting the cart before the jackass”.

  18. @ David Bu at 9:57 AM

    The short answer is YES. The number of pensioners will decrease through attrition and over time when I last examined the demographics. If all these Publicly sponsored Private sector projects get off the ground the released labour will be absorbed into the private sector at no cost . Their future pensions will be no concern of The Consolidated Fund. So yes it will be sustainable. If you need no policemen,no nurses, the dynamic efficient Private sector will provide these services. Are you getting the drift. But bear in mind, it is not what the noise makers say ,it is what we, the people, want that should exercise the mind of GoB. Talk is the only commodity in Barbados that does not suffer adversely from inflation. It cheap like ( expletive)/.
    The GoB is expeced to put policies in place to ameliorate/ avoid the impact of externalities on the local Economy and Society. Please review their Job Descriptions. It helps when considering local political economic issues.

    • @Vincent

      Understand the point you are making, where we separate is that decisions about pension must be informed by actuarial plans.

  19. David Bu

    Bottom line : It cannot be a political decision without the input of the technocrats. We need them.Yes. Pension schemes ,especially publicly administered ones. must be scientifically informed. This is not the age of guessing and trial and error. It is about using knowledge and technology in arriving at decisions in the public arena. NIS had on staff persons pursuing this discipline as well as external actuaries that made a triennial report of the sustainability of the Fund.
    I believe it is this absence of information that leads some commenters to make unfounded statements.
    It cannot simply be a political decision. We need to have the inputs of the technocrats. It is time you stop believing that most public servants are seat warmers.

  20. @VC
    Leaving it to @Tron, meant I wasn’t supporting/not supporting anything to do with size (that being a matter @Tron frequently puts forth).
    As far as efficiency and effectiveness, I am in no position to determine that.
    Neither do I have the facts to know the size of the public service over time, and those implications going forward.
    For whatever reason “grants to individuals” has increased steadily over time. Will this continue? Are extraneous expenses being funneled through this heading? I have no idea, I don’t have the data set.

  21. Editorial
    New pensions mindset a must

    Broadly defined as a “periodic” allowance paid to the elderly by the Government or private employers in consideration of past service or age, pensions mean different things to different people in and out of Barbados.
    To tens of thousands of public servants, they are a vital non-contributory guaranteed benefit that’s paid for life after decades of hard work and commitment. They help people in their golden years maintain an acceptable standard of living after their incomes have fallen because of retirement.
    Private sector employees see pensions as proceeds which companies promise to pay on people’s retirement.
    To yet another group, pensions which are calculated as a percentage of salaries earned during working years can be as high as 75 per cent or as low as 33 per cent, and they routinely supplement the National Insurance Scheme’s monthly cheques. They are a financial lifeline which helps to meet mortgage obligations, rents, utility bill payments or service bank loans.
    “The bottom line is that pensions are crucial to helping people meet daily financial commitments,” said Ed Bushell, a human resources expert and a former president of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons.
    That explains why the recent announcement by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, in her Financial Statement And Budgetary Proposals,
    that her administration intends to change the full pension qualification for public officers from 33 and a third years of service to 40 years created such a stir, mostly by trade unionists. Considering that the private sector is expected to follow
    suit by changing its qualifying pension conditions to put it in line with Government reforms, it’s clear that their impact would be felt by not just Government employees.
    General secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Richard Greene, said they wanted a review of all pension arrangements for the Public Service. He said the announced plans, if implemented, would be unfair, inequitable and disadvantageous to many public workers.
    “Even if you work 40 years, you still get your pension calculated at 33 and a third years, which is the maximum,” he charged. That complaint appears valid, but it requires further study and if proven accurate, there should a correction. At the same time, though, there must be a recognition that the Government’s pension bill must be contained; otherwise, taxpayers will be forced to empty their pocketbooks to finance excessive demands from a Public Service that’s known for its bureaucratic ways and slow and inefficient pace of service.
    The public debate over the Government’s proposed changes underscores the need for a national education programme designed to encourage the development of a different mindset about pensions. The youth, for instance, must start investing early in their own pensions. The Government can facilitate that process through innovative tax reform measures. In essence, a serious overhaul of pensions is required.
    “We need a national educational pension programme,” said Earl Phillips, a Barbadian who is secretary-treasurer of the Transport Workers’ Union, Local 100, and a member of the board of trustees of New York City’s Employees System.
    His suggestion makes eminent sense.

    Source: Nation

  22. This Editorial, like some commentaries posted before,is based on the mistaken notion that pensions are a gift to the retired.employee. It is a condition of employment that attracts the job seeker to a particular employer. It is part of his/her emoluments. This notion is a hangover from the old mendicant attitudes to retired workers.

  23. @ Donna at 1;33 PM

    Correct. There is definitely a need for Civics to be put on the Time Tables in our Secoundary Schools.

    • On the subject of civics it seems government’s decision to cap VAT on fuel was interpreted by many as to be a cap on the price of fuel.

  24. @ David BU at 3 :18 PM
    So it would appear. Is the faulty teaching in Civics or Comprehension? I wonder if some commenters are not really deliberately mischievous.

    • @Vincent

      Agree this is more about comprehension than civics. Although a health interest in civics may have sharpened the comprehension skills in this regard…LOL

    • @Vincent

      Seriously where we are in Barbados is a large majority of people who are happy to breath their fire rage at anything.

  25. conditions of employment cannot be changed unilaterally after hiring….
    Is this like Bond terms cannot be changed unilaterally after issuance?
    Or taxes cannot be imposed after the tax year is over?
    Or payments to entities owed $$ by GoB must be paid within X time in full, and not converted to Bonds or other longer term Promissory methods?
    The new realities…?

  26. On the subject of civics it seems government’s decision to cap VAT on fuel was interpreted by many as to be a cap on the price of fuel
    Perhaps our REAL problem is the the damn politicians themselves don’t know what the hell they are doing…
    far less the BB sheeple.

  27. Straughn: Investment fund to aid pensions
    Pensions in Barbados are mostly unfunded and Government is seeking ways in which public officers, including new staff, will not be disadvantaged, Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn has also made it clear that Government is not seeking to reduce pensions paid to civil servants, but anticipates that, over time, the amount coming from revenue would be reduced.
    His comments came during a public discussion at the Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters of the National Union of Public Workers on pension reform Wednesday, which was streamed online.
    “The Government of Barbados intends to resolve this matter, not just to the satisfaction of all public servants but certainly to ensure that, fiscally, we are in a position to
    ensure that, over time, the actual amount of pensions paid directly from the revenue that you collect in any fiscal year, we are able to reduce that,” Straughn said.
    The minister said Government planned to set up a fund to allow investments to grow. The investment income would support payment of pensions.
    Straugn said he wanted to give the public officers and the existing pensioners the “absolute assurance” that the Government of Barbados was in no way seeking to reduce anyone’s pension.
    He said national consultations and discussions would be continuing with the labour movement and private sector, noting there was a need for public education on pensions. ( HH)

    Source: Nation

  28. @ David Bu

    So we are back to yet another discussion in semantics . I feel your pain.
    You may be correct in your quests.What is surfacing is the abundance of ignorance in matters of Public Affairs ( Res Publicae.). Your work in Education will be rewarded. Continue the good work.
    All things work out for the best. Truth is revealed every day. The paradigm shift is unfurling.
    Now I see the Jonah moment I predicted and the need for it.

    • @Vincent

      You took note Minister Straughn refers to unfunded? Meaning we suppose public servants do not contribute?

  29. @ David BU at 10 :43 AM

    May I ask who will be funding and managing these segregated funds? Is a portfolio of Public and Private Stocks and shares more sustainable than the revenues/ tax receipts of the Public and private sectors? What is the historical record of the performance of Segregated Funds?

    Thanks for the overseas academic papers. They say nothing different from what I have stated over the last several months. It is a matter of choice and ones appetite for risks and collateral damage. If as you claim,the Surplus funds of NIB is being mismanaged and misused,how much more chaotic will the total collapse of the pension scheme will be.. No portfolio manager has been able to consistently outperform the market.

  30. @ David BU
    I think you have just appealed that it is too dark to see the cricket ball. You are dodging. But that is OK.The substantial source is still Tthe Consolidated Fun/ Taxpayers. AND the probability of the Segregated Fund being managed or mismanaged will be higher. The uncertainty / anxieties WILL NOT BE REMOVED. They are the same players in the same game. We are just playing musical chairs with somebodies benefiting from the accompanying chaotic disturbances.

    • @Vincent

      The blogmaster quoted the minister. One interpretation is that he is using unfunded in context, we know what he means.

  31. No kicking pension reform down the road
    There can be no doubt that the management of our economy requires very careful study these days. In fact, it always has required such study. On too many occasions the proverbial can has been kicked down the road.
    We may have reached a point of reckoning. The issue of pensions will not go away. Public Service pensions, in particular, have become a matter of serious comment and concern within recent times. That we have turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance has meant that some elephants in the room have been brought under the glare of that agency’s laser-like focus.
    This country has a small and restricted tax base. We are still struggling to emerge from the yoke of colonialism and the expectations of the people, fed sometimes by the hyperbolic speeches of some social commentators, and some policymakers too, have led some of our people to ignore the harsh reality which faces us.
    Public Service pensions are currently being paid out of yearly revenues. This is clearly unsustainable if we are to stabilise this economy in the short, medium or long term. The problem is compounded by our demographic profile. When former Minister of Education Ronald Jones said that we need more babies, he was speaking an economic truth in plain old Bajan.
    Perhaps we should have been listening more carefully, because whether we see it this way or not, Public Service pensions, indeed pensions generally, are part of the national safety net, required for our vulnerable years of retirement.
    A declining birth rate and an increasing number of retirees living much longer and pensiondependent, are precisely what we face. An inverted triangle that becomes top-heavy with pension retirees
    and cannot be supported on the point of its base by a vastly decreasing workforce.
    We should not require outsiders to tell us that we need pension reform. Nor should the debate be blown off course or become clouded by appeals to the emotion.
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Amor Mottley and Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn have both spoken to this issue. The redoubtable Caswell Franklyn has joined the debate. We also notice that more organisations are speaking on issues of retirement planning. A panel discussion on pension reform, its fiscal, social and economic implications, which took place last Wednesday night last at the National Union of Public Workers, explored most of the issues in detail.
    It was crucial to hear Straughn give the assurance that there will be no cut in Public Service pensions, although new recruits entering the service will have to work 40 years in order to get a full one.
    The Inter-American Development Bank a few years ago described this country as having the highest level of Government pensions within the region. This opinion may have led some workers to fear that cuts were planned. The IMF, too, has also called for pension reform.
    The reality is that we cannot avoid pension reform. We have to study the problem and engage with the relevant sectors on how best we may fix the problem. We have to reform the system and protect the economy and workers by producing the optimum mix of policies that will deliver for us a sustainable method of funding public sector pensions.
    The issue is about funding. The pensions debate is necessary and urgent, and it must be informed. Kicking the can will not help. We are at the end of the road.

    Source: Nation Editorial

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