Prime Minister says Reform of Pension Scheme is an Imperative

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second right), addresses press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on March 3, to close out the visit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission team to review Jamaica’s performance under the Precautionary Stand-by Arrangement for the period ending December 31, 2016. He is joined by (from left) Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter; IMF Mission Chief, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan; and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says reform of the pension scheme system is an imperative as the Government pursues fiscal sustainability.
  • The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on March 3, to conclude the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission team’s two-week visit to review the Precautionary Stand-by Arrangement programme with Jamaica for the period ending December 31, 2016.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says reform of the pension scheme system is an imperative as the Government pursues fiscal sustainability.

He notes that the reform will be done in a cooperative and inclusive way as the Government will be intensifying its outreach, dialogue and cooperation with its partners and union stakeholders.

The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on March 3, to conclude the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission team’s two-week visit to review the Precautionary Stand-by Arrangement programme with Jamaica for the period ending December 31, 2016.

Mr. Holness said the current pension scheme system, which requires an increasing level of pension payouts, is unsustainable.

“Pension payments have ballooned in recent years and the projections show they could consume the budget in a few years if not reformed now,” he said.

Public sector pension reform is aimed at making the system more affordable and sustainable for the Government, while providing adequate pension benefits.

The Prime Minister recently committed the Government to work amicably to resolve concerns expressed by some stakeholders about the proposed reforms.

“The posture of the Government will be to work towards resolution and not antagonism. When we are talking about the quality of life in the future for our people who have worked very hard and are ready to retire, it shouldn’t be on the basis of contention,” he said.

He was addressing Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited’s Pension Investment Seminar at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on February 21.

He also said, at that time, that as part of its economic strategy, the Government will be looking at how best to match pension funds with long-term investments, such as infrastructure and real estate.

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