One of many concerns Barbados Underground has been championing through the years is the rate of depletion of NIS funds. Quoting former Minister David Estwick who addressed the matter last week, “the operating balance at the NIS becomes negative by 2028, six years from now…and the NIS funds would be depleted in 12 years. Compounding the problem is a matter of poor compliance”. Do we have the capacity to run with the message for the purpose of engaging in constructive debate?
There are not many other ways one can continue to express concern about the management of the NIS by the Barbados and Democratic Labour parties through the years. Although Prime Minister Mottley has given the assurance the NIS is nowhere near to a crisis situation, the reality of the numbers tells a different story for the independent minded.
The country awaits the outcome from a recent national consultation on the NIS when it is anticipated significant changes will have to be implemented. As it stands our NIS contribution is one of the highest in the region with age eligible for full pension benefit being 67. The fact we are labelled an ageing population with restricted opportunity to expand the pool of contributions has opened the door for managed immigration.
While this blog highlights the NIS fund, the burgeoning pension liability of government for the public service, both central government and SOEs adds to the problems a future generation will have to wrestle.
Barbadians have jumped on the bandwagon and have become addicted to the latest flavour of gossip news. In the meantime…
The following article posted in the Nation newspaper on May 25, 2023 with the title Retirement crisis looming, says former Minister is recommended reading.
Retirement crisis looming, says former Minister
Article by Jonteau Coppin
Barbados faces an impending retirement crisis.
This is the belief of Dr David Estwick, the former Minister of Economic Affairs, who was speaking during the Democratic Labour Party’s St Peter branch meeting at Mile-And-A-Quarter on Sunday.
The topic of discussion was A Crisis Within A Crisis – The Risk of Pensions in Barbados.
Estwick raised the alarm over the country’s future retirement prospects, highlighting the worsening dependency ratio and the unpreparedness of both the Government and the over-65 age group for the challenges that lie ahead.
Speaking about the solvency of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) which he deems a national emergency, he said “The Government of Barbados is unprepared for these future pension liabilities, and the over-65 age group in Barbados is woefully unprepared for retirement.”
He continued: “It is now an emergency because there was significant damage done to the NIS balance sheet because of the domestic debt restructuring exercise of 2018, that resulted in the NIS losing over $1.6 billion in debt-based assets, in addition to the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on contributions and benefit pay out. In fact, the operating balance at the NIS becomes negative by 2028, six years from now…and the NIS funds would be depleted in 12 years. Compounding the problem is a matter of poor compliance. In fact, about one in every eight self-employed persons pay NIS,”
Estwick, who headed the Infrastructure Committee of Cabinet under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, recommends the elimination of double taxation on pensions and the scrapping of any direct tax on people who take up jobs post retirement, as strategies to help save the NIS from potential collapse. He also suggested that Barbados introduce a tax write-off of 150 per cent of business investment for people over the age of 60.
However, given the severity of the situation, Estwick believes things will become more expensive for those in the 16-60 age group who are responsible for paying NIS.
“It is my contention that Barbadians should brace themselves for increases to the present NIS contribution rates that apply to employees and employers of 11.1 per cent and 12.75 percent respectively; working for longer periods (70-75) and a reduced pension benefit”. (JC)Nation newspaper
THE NHS, NHSFIFE, NHSTORTUREREGIME HAVE KEPT ME CAPTIVE AS THEIR HOSTAGE FOR 20.8 YEARS. THEY HAVE FORCED INJECTION FOR 24 YEARS, THEY HAVE KILLED 300,000 TETRAFRAGG TETRAFRAGG TETRAFRAGG CLONED BODIES OF ME DURING THE PAST 40 MONTHS
TIEF NOT, WANT NOT…
Cant seek to blame Empire for that one…but….it is noticed in all the bellyaching and griping, not a fella int calling for independent AUDITORS for the last 20- 40 years of no accountability or financial transparency, for the treasury vat or NIS pension..preferably in no way connected to government their agents or associates……
But dont worry, i already made a suggestion.
Btw…shared yesterday was information stating that people in the diaspora are crying shame and embarrassment on parliament misleadership and distancing themselves from any direct connection.
Cant blame them, it’s sooooo embarrassing…ALL OF IT….i wont want anyone to know i know them…people are indeed crying shame all around..
…we also cannot allow Slave minds to drive any type of narrative. I certainly will not allow them to insert themselves as they are so famous in doing….not this time or in this situation..way ahead of that trick…so petty and trifling they cant see the disaster developing..
This conversation, like many others, seem never to go any deeper than the surface.
Neither David Estwick nor his namesake here has the courage to conclude that what’s been happening at the NIS is the direct and causal consequence of neoliberal capitalism, beginning circa 1980.
It is a Washington Consensus thinking which both are, in Jim Jones fashion, ardent koolaide drinkers.
Like in any other belief system, the economic is no different. So to ask believers to question their raison dete is to become Sisyphus.
Until these who are such proponents can find this base truism any regurgitatiion of old memes mean nothing.
To these devout capitalists there must never be a fundamental interrogation of such bedrock morrings. Even as the belief system was only entered into canon four decades ago.
As a result, the same circular trite must now be repeated. We should expect that Walter Blackman, who has some expertise in matters thus, to be summons to argue what he has expertly done several times previously.
And the collapse of social security systems is a global phenomenon. All the betrayals of actuaríal logic found in the case of Barbados repeat themselves almost everywhere else.
Therefore the point of departure and the logical direction of travel must be neoliberal capitalism, itself. Anything else is either a fool’s errand or the diliberate dumbing down of the public by both the loud–mouthed barggart from Saint Philip and his more obsequious twin right here.
Neoliberalism and capitalism notwithstanding….dem TIEF…BILLIONS from the fund.
I was fortunate enuff to see their theft handiwork up Apes Hill some years ago, still have really nice photos, but their dream clubhouse and pool for racists have since been dug up, however, the disappeared billions can still be seen.
They are playing the same old dumbed down game and fully expect different results…someone ought to send them a memo…that strategy is overused, misused abused and too old to have any life left. …they have had too much freedom to be destructive with taxpayer’s and pensioner’s money…
The loan money theft, that’s between them and their Empire employers….dont in anyway concern me..
Some may cite other causal factors, like birth rates decline, non payment, etc. While birth rates will be a factor more decisive going forward and delinquency something which has always been a challenge, the elephant in the room which nobody wants to address is neoliberal capitalism itself.
Under neoliberal capitalism the intention was, from the masters in Washington, that all public wealth must be privatised. We see the consolidation into fewer and fewer hands. And this is largely what has happened to the NIS, and will continue to.
Look! For example. We cannot recall anybody who has virtually thrown away tens of millions of NIS money, like as the fake professor Persaud, and continues to be at the centre of government’s financial architecture as a respected adviser.
Part of the plan to achieve Washington’s diktats.
They have shown for decades just how vulnerable that system is to abuse, by overly subjecting it to massive and horrifying exploitation….that alone should give everyone, especially those whose financial interests are tied up in it by the billions of dollars……serious pause..
“Under neoliberal capitalism the intention was, from the masters in Washington, that all public wealth must be privatised.”
But then they got overly greedy and tief all the money, mismanaged the island and had to go loans abegging AGAIN……….i dont think they meant for them to tief until everything became nonfunctioning….lol
Looks like they privatized the loans too…
That’s why i stay ouf of politics because of differing agendas….and am not a great admirer of that system either, personally, my belief is, better can be done…but that’s from a feminine perspective…high profile Alpha males think differently.
“Look! For example. We cannot recall anybody who has virtually thrown away tens of millions of NIS money, like as the fake professor Persaud, and continues to be at the centre of government’s financial architecture as a respected adviser.”
That fakery has gone on for quite some time and no one is doing anything..
Estwick should be the last to say anything about mismanagement of the NIS, as it was his government under the divine hand of sinkyuh that used that entity as their personal xerox machine.
The large amount of debt created by the DLP government to the NIS, then was passed on to this government to service. Then the BLP decided “listen right some off” and with the stroke of a pen 1 billion dollars of the contributions of others disappeared!
So which party created the problem one could argue? Well personally in my view both need to hold some licks for their decisions. The point is we are where we are now and unless this government plans to inject roughly $80 million a year, for the next 10 to 12 years the fund will fail.
Those sadly are the facts.
I share your sentiments. One of my biggest regrets is the Ds didn’t get re-elected after those ‘glorious years’.
I would love to have seen their choices given the financial situation in May ’18.
I mean, even after the NIS Bond buying fiasco, they WITHELD govt employee NIS contributions to bolster the Consolidated Fund, sending the NIS an I.O.U.
The series J Bonds held today by the NIS is repayment for those I.O.U’s. (that was compliments of the IMF)
People like Eastwick need very thick skin, (I hear rum helps thicken the skin) to even raise the topic.
No one is safe, they would rob anyone, sell anyone…they have had many decades of practice, no loyalty to anyone except for what they do and whom they do it with.
It’s a horrible and very destructive situation…and must be brought to heel…they have acted for decades like they were answerable to no one, only recently most of us came to tealize that was another one of their lies and pretense…
Uh wonder why the blogmaster does allow the jackass Yolande Grant to ABUSE EVERY damn blog. It sickening. 7/12 posts of REPEATING the SAME SHYTE, over and over and over, and nothing bout the subject.
We all knew the NIS goose was cooked long ago.
Part of why I have trouble reading Dr.JR these days, for under his chairmanship they NEVER submitted a single annual report, as at least, he didn’t have the kahunas to say so.
Play quiet and get a full professorship and dept head.
The game goes on.
The lot of them need a bullet.
Average Bajans pensions gone, because they played loose and fancy free with their money. Nary a soul had the gumption to speak out, in the public space.
I’m not sure why the mathematics of pension funds fail
I don’t blame socialism
I blame the greed of capitalism
HEALTHY LONG LIFE
But speaking of greed..
Fatties double the burden of healthcare costs
Where in the Bible is four score and ten?
Psalms 90:10 In-Context
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Listen Carefully to your Data.
Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?
What pollutes Government function?
Data sheds light and helps to highlight understand and solve problems.
The world of online data can be either for good (user privacy) or bad (corporate snooping, Government and political overreach).
Spiritual belief to 21st century surveillance, with a slice of legal conspiracy.
While that blend of bold topics was initially commendable, it soon became clear that the Hand of God was a divine mess.
To bring some clarity to the psychological haze.
The visions were a mental illness,
But the Hand of God still doesn’t know when to stop.
It’s family is far bigger than blood.
There’s something underneath it all, perhaps, about the difference between what people want to believe is real and what actually is, whether that’s the strive to be a better politician, the urge to escape the cloying nature of a rundown reality or the need for deeper motivation sent from on high.
A story of redemption and shifting perceptions, Hand of God’s biggest sin is perhaps that it doesn’t seem to know how to change.
The day an audit is done the government that happens to be in power then, will be in hell to explain why the fund has reached this stage of insolvency. When the bad debts from government are booked and the performance of the real estate assets to market value highlighted, every Bajan with a basic understanding of numbers will hang their head in shame. Add to that when the overpriced real estate like the Grotto is written down to true market value and not booked at what it cost to build, the true asset base of the fund will be revealed.
This fund is a bear no one wants to poke and awaken neither B nor D.
I Am I AM
Rich in Melanin
It is produced through some chemical processes, which gives rise to different kinds of melanin. This little pigment does not only define the color of our bodies but depending on its amount, melanin also protects the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and skin with more melanin has a better ability to absorb heat.
Be it white, light, or shades of brown and black, all humans are beautiful the way they are. Over the years, racial discrimination has affected humans, especially women, in feeling low about their skin type. However, women today are raising their voices through racial activism, to promote self-care and love of skin.
“The black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”
The Economic Freedom Party of our main man in Azania, Julius Makema, is the very best of the best.
He’s the antithesis of the breed we’ve known well after independence. A giant compared to a bullshiiite talker like a Mia Mottley. A real man!
In response to a racist BBC questioning about South Afrika’s policy of nuetrality viz a viz thr NATO-Russian war.
Malema boldly stated that if his party was in government he would send weapons to Russia. To the consternation of the racist.
All over Afrika there is an uprising. A determination to say fuck off to stinking White people, and their slaves. And it’s high time tooooooo.
Of course, during the war againstthe fascists, Apartheid, regime it was the USSR, now Russia, as inheritor, which sent every penny the Freedom Fighters received.
It was Russia which paid for every plañe ticket, every gun, every meal, every uniform, every doctor, everything, everything, everything.
While the racist countries like Britian and the United States supported the Apartheid regime until the end.
And now a BBC journalist has the unmitigated gall, the temerity, to suppose that the enemies of Afrikan people are to be supported by us.
But Malema needs to go further and call for that action which will remove this demonic germ from Pachamama.
Government made bad investments with our NIS Pension Fund money hence the ONLY solution is for government to subsidize the pension fund each time it drops below a certain minimum threshold limit.
The government aka taxpayers?
“I’m not sure why the mathematics of pension funds fail”,
Honestly, I doubt the mathematics failed. This may be more a failure of a dishonest system and crooked actuaries.
Yesterday, I was engaged in a hot exchange at a next Bajan site.
I am not asking for anyone to drag down the island, but what I hate that even with known issues, even with our inability to follow known guidances/rules/laws/conventions/instructions someone will rush out with a list of rules to show how the process should work and that the victim is in the wrong.
Why do some believe that they must protect and preserve the status quo?
Those who benefit from the current failed system find it sweet and not needing any changes. It is this same unfairness and dispensing injustice that will crash the system.
We see system after system failing and returning the incorrect answer. Yet some act as if nothing is wrong and the next system will give the correct answer…. The definition of insanity
Telling the truth is not dragging down the island. Dragging down the island is pretending that we are alone in our ignorance.
We are not especially stupid, ignorant or corrupt. The more I look, the more I see that this shit is happening almost everywhere.
This system of things is not sustainable.
“Telling the truth is not dragging down the island. Dragging down the island is pretending that we are alone in our ignorance.
We are not especially stupid, ignorant or corrupt. The more I look, the more I see that this shit is happening almost everywhere.
This system of things is not sustainable.”
This is the single most profound summary to have been posted on BU since PODRYH departed this realm.
Do you know if PUDRYR and Cudear Bajan died?
PUDRYR is still kicking, not sure about Cudear.
No square brackets..?? …ok… Bushie could see um…
Boss, you REALLY think that PUDRYR could be ‘vertica’l bout here – and not be pelting some licks in the lotta shiite going on bout here under our Mugabe – styled dicktashun?
No way JOSE!!!
Um is probably he ‘up there’ haunting the so-called leaders we got bout here, and got them making the MOST stupid decisions imaginable….
..like the eddykashun shiite initiative… LOLOL
Bushie still think that um is a play play skit, that has been designed for NIFCA…
Why is the NIS failing?
Neoliberal capitalism as an economic throry is clearly causal.
Why do we have economic theories?
To further the aims of imperialism. Plain and simple.
What are the reasons for imperialism?
To mobilize the resources of other peoples’ for the capital needed to further the hegemon’s industrialization or development.
What is the main difference between industrial capitalism and the financial capitalism as in neoliberalism?
Financial capitalism’s central aims are to redistribute the surplus to the corporate elites, is characterised by a rentier class, produces no real goods, GDP is largely based on services.
Industrial capitalism represents a real economy in classical economic thought.
Why are there a collision of these two models.
Financial capitalism has allowed the hegemon, USA, merely by having control of a world reserve currency in which most commodities were priced to live on the backs of countries which actually produces things.
Will it be the end of throse services economies steeped in financializaion, like Barbados?
Yes! However, the backers of neoliberalism are fighting hard to make adjustments, in the hope of staving off doom. Their number one priority is a tinkering which leaves the corporate elites in a privaledged position as rent seekers sucking the blood of the rest of the world.
In the future we’ll address how a country mobilizes capital for development without resting on an economic theory which supports imperialism.
This warning from the sardine-tin-retriever (formerly thought to be a Pit Bull) is much like the Devil giving us a somber warning that we are about to see Hell on Earth….
..or like Fauci expressing concerns about another epidemic that could ‘force him’ to make another couple hundred billion $$$ profit by selling some new shiite injection to every brass bowl he can terrorize with his shit talk..
Or like a former NIS chairman now being publicly concerned at the lack if financial reporting from that PUBLIC body.
If the DLP people don’t have the BASIC common sense to get the RID of those &^$#$^s from the ‘Era of Downgrades’ – including Froon, Spit-Bull, Stink-Liar, Kelly-the-Dotish-NIS-Investment-specialist (and a few others for good measure), then their only hope is that the BLP will outdo them in abject idiocy…
Fortunately for the DLP (but NOT for Bajan brass), The Bees are making a gallant effort to make the DLP downgraders look like amateurs at idiocy…
What a place…!!!!
One would have thought that COMMON SENSE would become more evident when all else have clearly failed us.
…but how can it, …when.. due to WICKEDNESS in high and LOW places…
“Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat”
I am looking forward to being at Ground Zero of BU later this year
It is unfortunate that I will not be able to meet a few Ground Zero inhabitants:
Enuff, Lorenzo, The A guy, John A, Rabbit, 222, Cuhdear, Bushie Donna and the blogmaster just to name a few
Anyhow, I will try to provide a daily comment from my cave at Ground 0 whilst wearing my tin-foil hat. I dread being captured and having to listen to the torturous music of 111 …. geez, heaven help me.
I will put emphasis on the positive, but will also comment on anything that is negative.
Source: Barbados Today
What is Chairman Haynes quoted as saying?…”as a matter of urgency…
The report should make for interesting reading, will the audited financials be available as well?
How do you make something which has lost billions “more profitable”?
Smoke and mirrors. An excuse to hire a few faithful.
And NO, there will not be a single report, financial or otherwise, for all the missing years 😕😕
Possibly the Actuarial Report didn’t mention this, so they are not aware they are missing 😁😁
And yet, they want the self employed to sign up and send them funds. Are the self employed that stupid?
Your comment attached perfectly to the thesis position of the Sagicor topic the usual suspects ignored. Where is the outrage about a matter that should be of concerned to all Barbadians as it relates to governance? How can we have a social security system that is mismanaged to the extent we have been unable to produce audited financials? Instead we prefer to become ensconced in esoteric and or frivolous exchanges.
David what shocked me, is the Chair could make his statements, the journalist goes on to mention recently DLP related commentary, and does NOT question the financials?
Are all the journalists bought and paid for, or merely not very good?
They are intimidated.
By what or whom?
Like “you Kan do dat”?
It cannot be ‘out of place’ to ask about financials related to the same journalists money. They pay into NIS too.
The answer is simple…either financials will be made public as required by law (the Act), or they will not.
If Barbadians do not INSIST on financials PRIOR to the status change, after they will be told the new Board has no knowledge of the prior entity.
All employers need do is band together and place NIS remittances into an Escrow acct. The release of audited financials will release the Escrowed funds.
It cannot be forcing anything, for it is THE LAW that annual reports be made public.
What about the prudential responsibility of the accounting house? Forget the government appointed political players.
What accounting house?
The Act requires the Board to make a 3 part Report annually to the Minister. The latter is then responsible for it’s publication via presentation to the House.
It is only your back’n’forth with a prior Chair, which revealed “issues” with part 1 of the 3 part Report, the Financials. Parts 2 & 3 were not financial?
Do you even know WHO the accounting house (auditors) are. I am unaware of any ‘prudential’ responsibility they have.
It is up to Barbadians, via the funders, employers and employees to demand. It is now clear, given under 4 PM’s from both parties, this not a partisan issue.
A former partner of a leading accounting house was appointed to the Board to assist with navigating the hurdles that have bedeviled the laying of audited statements in the House.
Lol…confirmation it isn’t beyond accounting capabilities?
What could be the issue(s)?
Another WTF moment from the bosses at the NIS. Don’t worry but!
First BERT 2.0 targets met but pension reform progress “disappointing”
The committee established to monitor the Government’s performance under the second Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme says all the quantitative performance and indicative targets have been met at the end of the first formal review period.
However, delays in moving forward with pension reforms have been described as “disappointing”.
The update was provided by the BERT Monitoring Committee (BERT MC) in its first report under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 36-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and an arrangement under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF).
As of the end of the first formal review period on March 31, 2023, it said, “overall on the fiscal and monetary front the [Government] has comfortably met the targets under the arrangements”.
The arrangements include several structural benchmarks, the majority of which the BERT MC said have been met.
“The long delay in progressing the benchmark related to public pension reform is disappointing given the importance of this issue as highlighted in the Committee’s previous report. This was originally a benchmark under the prior programme that was due on March 31, 2022,” it said.
One of the March 31, 2023 targets was for the Government to table a revised public pension law to enhance the sustainability of the public sector pension scheme.
Noting that it welcomed the opportunity to continue in the role of monitoring the progress under these new arrangements, following the successful completion of the 2018-2022 EFF programme, the BERT MC said while significant progress had been made in many areas, there are still several areas requiring additional focus and reform if the long-term goals of the programme related to sustainability of debt are ultimately to be achieved.
Nation Editorial 05 June 2023.
They are intimidated.
That is the real joke.
Our journalist are mostly a set of immature upstarts who are so easily purchased with a lunch or personal gift, or rebuffed with a wave by shiite politicians, that they serve mostly as secret PR agents to the crooked demons that run things in Brassbados.
Our journalists do not have the weight of respected and influential media houses to give support.
Media houses gain weight, respect and influence IN DIRECT PROPORTION to the quality of their journalists and editorial staff.
The journalists are the dogs doing the wagging – the media houses are just fat tails…
How do you explain David Ellis becoming such a big dog since shedding the big fat tail that previously sought to wag him…?
The influence of media houses come from lack of concentration of ownership with diverse ideological perspectives and creative sources of earning revenue.
Get real Boss
Is is not MUCH easier to earn your revenue from bribes of ‘advertising contracts’, overt PR services, and direct kowtowing to crooked big business, than by exposing their dirt, and losing the easy income – just for public acclaim and for righteousness?
Some miscreants may even blackmail the businesses with veiled threats of ‘exposure’ – and be paid in adverts… 🙂
Which path will our media houses take, do you think?
Far more likely to find an honest INDIVIDUAL journalist with Enuff balls to take the bull by the horns … as a matter of principle.
Interesting comment about Ministry of Labour. Wasn’t NIS always under that (Sen Dr Byer etc) with “dotted line” to MoF.
Why were the Reports sent to the Auditor General and not simultaneously laid before the House?
Chairman Haynes is pointing back to this writer’s #1 suspect, the buck stops at the desk of the top Operations exec, who was since promoted to Director of Finance and lauded with National honours.
At least the Chair has ‘said something’.