The pension plan that was mentioned by Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith is in its final stages. The announcement was made by the Premier on 23 June during the Swearing-in ceremony.
In an update on the initiative, Premier Smith said: “I will finally put in place that pension program that we spoke about for some time. It is just because all of the background work has been done, and it is important because I know that there are many people who because of the nature of their work when it is time to retire the retirement allowances that they have is not really sufficient.”
“With the pension program that I have spoken about in place everybody will be able to retire and rest assured with the knowledge that a safety blanket will be there,” Hon. Smith added.
Age Gap Still a Major Pension Issue
In 2012, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton announced that measures were being considered to bridge the gap between the age of retirement and the age of eligibility for social security benefits.
The Minister explained that the age divide needed to be remedied because people are living longer and “those who live longer want to work… they don’t want to stay at home.”
Hon. Skelton made the comments while at a community meeting in the Fifth District on 7 November 2012. He told the gathering: “There is this age that companies and the government retire you, which is at 60 years and the time to collect social security is at 65,” the Hon. Minister said, “so we are trying to get that age synchronised.”
He further explained that the eligible age for social security benefits “cannot come down” but efforts are being made to carry the government retirement age up to 65 years.
Prior to that meeting the Minister had announced during an edition of the NDP radio programme aired in March 2012 that in trying to synchronise the two ages, it would not be prudent to lower the age of eligibility for social security retirement benefits. “We cannot lower social security and have it sustained for any long period of time. The system will go bankrupt. So we have to increase the age of people (retiring) from 60 to 65.”