JIS News

The disparity in age at which male and female retirees qualify to receive National Insurance Scheme (NIS) benefits is being adjusted, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has informed.
Currently, females qualify to receive their NIS retirement benefit at age 60, while males qualify at 65 years old.
“This anomaly has persisted for too long,” Minister Charles said, during his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on October 12.
He informed that Cabinet has approved the unification of the NIS retirement age to allow both males and females to receive the benefit at age 65.
“The female retirement age will be gradually adjusted over five years, commencing January 2010. This will ensure that women who are closer to the existing retirement age of 60 will not be required to wait the full five years to receive their benefit,” the Minister explained.
He added that the adjustment of the qualifying age for receiving benefits is one of the major reform measures that are being implemented in social security systems worldwide to address the effects of the changing demographics.
On another matter, Mr. Charles informed that the annual renewable benefits under the NIGOLD Health Plan have been improved, which will see increased limits for prescription drugs, diagnostic services and dental and optical services.
He said that all pensioners will now be required to register with the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) in order to receive their new NIGOLD Health cards. These cards will be used to access NIGOLD benefits as of April 2011 and will also serve as identification cards for pensioners.

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