Sign up – Government Asked to Withdraw Changes to NIS Bill


The People of Barbados will be severely affected by the proposed changes to the National Insurance Scheme. They have noted that last March 2022, the Prime Minister stated that it was her intent to:

1. Make the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) a Statutory Corporation more independent from      Government by the end of 2022.

2. Recapitalize the NIS.

3. Add a requirement to diversify investments both locally and abroad.

4. Ensure that when private projects SEEK PUBLIC SUPPORT, they give the NIS the choice to invest.

However, the People of Barbados not having been privy to any report on the consultations regarding the National Insurance scheme, not being provided information on the Actuarial Review of the Pension Fund, not having knowledge of the assets of the Scheme or how the tax payers monies are being spent or invested or government’s action to recover funds that are being owed; are now being faced with a Bill that has already  passed in the House of Assembly without discussion when this Bill will have profound effects on the lives of the dwindling middle class and all of the persons from the lower echelons of society and Barbadians yet unborn. The Bill is now before the Senate the step before it becomes the law of the land.

Please sign the Petition to Withdraw The National Insurance (Amendment) Bill & Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

The People have decided to take a stand.  Our concerns are for:

1. Public engagement in a matter that profoundly alters the National Insurance scheme as it presently exists.

2. The conducting of a Social and Economic Impact Assessment on how such action will affect persons who currently live in Barbados as well as Barbadians who live abroad that have worked on the island and are due a pension.

3. All other options be explored to maintain the safety net of the people before the National Insurance Scheme is tampered with to the detriment of the people.

4. The impact on people who are currently eligible for a pension but with the proposed Bill, will not have enough contributions since the number of contributions will rise from 500 to 750.

5. That government bear the burden of proof to show evidence that their proposal in the form of a Bill has been a successful in another country and can therefore be a model adopted by Barbados.

6. That an island which currently has concerns about the level of productivity would even consider extending the retirement age of its workforce as this will undoubtedly lead to less productivity especially for manual, blue collar, construction and agricultural workers and a rise in physical and age-related illnesses.

7. The fact that many of our statutory corporations were established to relieve them of the administrative burden of the public service. While this makes sense in theory (1) we know that many statutory corporations have not been very good at producing financial statements to account for their operations (2) they are more politicized than the Civil Service since Governments will change the entire board and top management based on partisan political considerations rather than performance or ability. (3) Ministers with responsibility for statutory corporations are known to have refused to bring information about their operation to the Cabinet. There is nothing to suggest this will change.

8. That our pensions will be used to support/prop up private sector projects.

9. While diversifying investment sounds good, who will manage these investments? With no regard for the Auditor General how will we know that the money will not be going to family and friends? The people still are not provided with the transparency to know what happens to borrowed funds after they pass through the Estimates process so how can we trust what will happen to our NIS funds?

The time to act is now and based on the foregoing, we the People are demanding that:

1. The age of retirement to be at 65

2. Eligibility remains at 500 contributions

3. Politicians and citizens to be on par with respect to retirement age

4. More compliance officers be employed to ensure contributions are paid

5.  Government pay back the money owed

6.Government identifies the leaks in the scheme and fix them

7. Government goes after defaulters

8. Regular audits are conducted

9. Systems are put in place whereby the government cannot use the funds

10. NIS be placed into the Central Government and not under the absolute control of the Minister

11. Systems are put in place to help microbusinesses file their contributions

12. That The National Insurance (Amendment) Bill & The Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill be withdrawn.



166 thoughts on “Sign up – Government Asked to Withdraw Changes to NIS Bill

  1. Northern, i see you still trying.

    Since a heist seems imminent, wee should advise the talking machine…to make a list of all her loving adoring supporting imps, pimps, fowls and Slaves, there must be at least tens of thousand of them, and clean out their bank accounts leaving them $50 as goodwill…they wont mind seeing as they support any and everything…..once a politician does it, no matter how evil, corrupt and illegal…..but at least.that should fix the NIS deficit.

    On another note….trouble is brewing on the continent of Afrika…i remember when war broke out in Ukraine, nuff of them on here took sides, though not fully understanding the whole dynamics…even whlle seeing how Afrikans are mistreated, some of the dumber ones from other areas wanted to go fight…so let’s see them gear up and go fight for their ancestors birthright and motherland which is theirs too: now that France still believe they can continue the centuries old oppression, suppression, exploitation and THEFTS of Afrikan birthrights.

    Now we will know what they are truly made of…

  2. Pingback: Time to hold former NIS Chairs AccountableBarbados Underground

    • AUG 10, 2023 —
      We are standing firm even though the Senate passed 2 Bills that were to create the structure of the new NI Corporation. Whatever that is, it is not in favour of the ordinary man in Barbados.
      All is not loss and we are still proceeding with this Petition and the march that is planned for Saturday. The plan is on to change the retirement age even though last August the PM said that the fund is not in crisis.
      Can you image that Liz Thompson had the audacity to try to justify the retirement age for politicians which is 50? What she did not say was that those entitled politicians will be walking away with 2 pensions, one at 50 and another at the regular retirement age. She went on to say that by setting the retirement age for every one else to 68, that the government is saving the NIS fund. Nothing could be further from the truth. They have not tried any other option to save the fund. She seemed very proud of herself too for making that pronouncement. I heard you Liz, loud and clear!
      So people stop and mull over this. The politicians are getting 2 pensions while you are only getting one at a time when you are past you prime, perhaps too tired and sick even to enjoy that pension at age 68. This can never be right. This is why every Barbadian should sign the petition and come out and march on Saturday. Your quality of life and the lives and well being of future Barbadians are in your hands. The future depends on you! Get out and March!

      Heather Cole Facebook post

  3. There is the likelihood that, at 57 years old, I will be severely affected by the Amendments to the NIS. I volunteer to be a Claimant or Appellant if needs be!
    This cleverly written amendments done to make the NIS a state owned Agency OR its equivalent follows a pattern of governmental political actions aimed at the unhinging of Government Departments governed by Public Officers pursuant to the Public Service Act and its General Orders. This unconstitutional manoeuvring has not been met with a REDELEGATION OF POWERS TO THE MINISTER, nor a REDELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS BY THE (GOVERNOR GENERAL) or PRESIDENT TO OR FROM THE MINISTER.. These political actions automatically shifts power from the President to the Prime Minister! This political action leads to a breach of the separation of Powers under the Constitution, under an unconstitutional constutional amendment that gives the PM more power to govern than has been allotted to her under our Constitutionalism! And at the same time, abrogates the ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISMS made under our Westminster modelled Constitution. Hence corruption will set in!
    Check Madame Justice the Hon. Lord Hale’s decision in R MILLER VS THE PRIME MINISTER!
    This Amendment to the NIS denies the NIS worker the right to choose whether or not that worker wants to continue being employed under the Public Service or not. Such a clause can be found for example, under the Transport Authority Act, the Barbados Revenue Authority Act. That clause, which was constitutionally extended to the masses who were denied the right to choose. Our fundamental rights and freedoms under the NIS WILL BE VIOLATED FOR SURE!
    Moreover, my guaranteed protection by Section 18 of the Constitution sets a PRECEDENT that prohibits the making and enforcement of RETROACTIVE LAWS in this country! Any law that impedes my right to a pension based on 500 contributions at age 60 is a RETROACTIVE LAW!
    The behaviour of our Parliament has become a PRAESIDIUM!
    I am also so disappointed in the present Chairman of the NIS for being a party to this apparent unconstitutional manoeuvring! Apparent because it hasn’t been signed into law YET!
    Do we have a strong President who has the Constitutional power to WITHHOLD ASSENT?
    I personally doubt!
    But how can I have confidence in a Democratic Process when THERE WAS NO PARLIAMENT because there was a shortage of Senators and now THERE IS STILL NO PARLIAMENT because the President has not yet satisfied the requirements of the Constitution to choose an OPPOSITION LEADER from the persons She chose for the Senate who do not support the Government! Neglect in the performance of a duty which has denied the citizens of this country of FAIR AND FRANK DISCUSSION in OUR Parliament in this MATTER! HENCE THE VOTE ON THIS NIS AMENDMENT WILL ALSO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
    I Pray that God will help us!
    Good morning.

    • I Pray that God will help us!
      Good morning.
      Don’t waste your prayers Boss.

      Instead, check the numbers jumping and reveling on the streets last week compared to those in a church or reflecting on their purpose in life soberly.

      This will tel you in whom we are trusting for ‘help’….

    • Hands off NIS, says Caswell

      Politicians must not be allowed to dip into the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) when they see fit.
      They must also not use it as a tool to find employment for their friends.
      Those are some of the concerns of general secretary of the Unity Workers Union (UWU) Caswell Franklyn, who criticised some of the provisions in the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment) Bill (2023).
      During a press conference that was called to announce a protest against the changes, Franklyn highlighted Section 5 of the bill which outlines the job descriptions of several high positions such as chief executive officer, chief finance officer, chief people development officer, chief operations officer and chief investment officer.
      “The National Insurance will have a whole new set of officers and it is troubling that they specified the names of the officers in the legislation and put their job descriptions in the legislation.
      “Normally a job description is between you and the person that hired you. If there will be changes, you discuss it, but if you want to change the job description in these high-level posts, you will have to go to Parliament to change their job descriptions,” Franklyn said.
      “My concern is that National Insurance is now being used like a statutory board where they can get jobs for their friends. National Insurance is too important to risk it with politicians making the decisions because they will be making decisions with the next election in mind.
      “Next election in mind may not mean what is in the best interest for the people of this country in terms of their pensions down the road,” he added.
      Late last year, Government announced that the fund could be in jeopardy in about 12 years if there was no reform. They said the scheme was heavily impacted following the COVID-19 pandemic.
      There were a series of town hall meetings where Barbadians offered suggestions. Last month, Government announced that the pensionable age would be 67 and a half years in 2028 and 68 in 2034.
      It was also noted that contributions to become eligible for pensions would move from 500 weeks (ten years) to 750 weeks (15 years), but no effect on those who are 60 or older on January 1, 2024.
      While urging Barbadians to speak out, Franklyn said it was unfair that Government ministers and Members of Parliament would receive their settlements, while the average Barbadians
      would be negatively impacted.
      “At age 50 they qualify for a pension and then at age 68, they get a second pension, so while the majority of Barbadians will have to suffer under a NIS pension that they have now reduced because they changed the way they compute the pension, so you will get less. . . they are getting a pension at half their salary, after eight years or two-thirds of their salary after 12 years.
      “Then if they live old enough and they get to 68, they will then get the pension that everybody else gets. They will be getting two pensions and the average man in Barbados who works in the public service will get one,” he added.
      During the press conference, Franklyn was joined by activist Winston Clarke who represented the Steering Committee and director and activist and director Marcia Weekes of the Marcia Weekes Show.
      Weekes said she supported the march because she viewed the changes as an attack on the elderly.
      “I see it as a crushing of the poor. It mattered to me that we are asking elderly people to work and carry out services to the country, for me that is elder abuse, so I got involved,” Weekes said. She encouraged more people to speak out and become the Opposition. “We must remember that we do not have an opposition, we will not oppose for opposing sake, but the people need to understand you are the opposition,” Weekes said. (TG)

      Source: Nation

  4. Yolande Grant – African Online Publishing Copyright (c) 2023. All Rights Reserved. August 10, 2023. @ 5:02 AM

    Sent to REAL Pan Afrikanists on our Afrikan Continent.

    The 11 or 12 Afrikan countries who have not yet realized that their doom and destruction has been organized/orchestrated and thoroughly directed by les voleurs France; but now have the extremely rare and golden opportunity to break those chains, get France out of Afrika permanently instead of fighting your Afrikan brothers and sisters to keep the oppression, exploitation and thefts alive while they arm rebel forces to destabilize and murder you.

    They better grab the opportunity presented and run your main parasite off the continent, and let him take his super talking liar with him.

    We watched as Barbados’ super talker fraud and France joined forces. They got so close and acted like a house on fire, and knew nothing good can come out of that for Afrikans. Everything these traitors in Barbados touch turns to doom, blight, curse and poison on our earth. That toxic and dangerous relationship would spell the final destruction of Afrikans.

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