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  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says a submission will be made to Cabinet in short order for an increase in the rate of pension.
  • She noted that the 2016 actuarial review of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was recently completed and will be included in the submission to Cabinet for implementation of the reform measures.
  • Mrs. Robinson was speaking during a recent service at the Falmouth United Church in Trelawny to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the NIS under the theme ‘In and through the Lord: Service to our Nation – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says a submission will be made to Cabinet in short order for an increase in the rate of pension.

She noted that the 2016 actuarial review of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was recently completed and will be included in the submission to Cabinet for implementation of the reform measures.

Mrs. Robinson was speaking during a recent service at the Falmouth United Church in Trelawny to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the NIS under the theme ‘In and through the Lord: Service to our Nation – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.

She said that the Government stands resolute in ensuring that the services offered by the Ministry will continue to be prompt and efficient while remaining relevant.

“At the mature age of 52, the NIS currently provides benefits to over 119,000 persons not only in Jamaica but across the world,” she pointed out.

She said there is recognition of the need to do even more to ensure that the population, especially the pensioners, are being adequately served.

In this regard, she informed that a number of strategies are being undertaken to ensure greater efficiency. She said that the governing law and staffing operations are being reviewed, and a pensioner reverification exercise is under way.

Mrs. Robinson also highlighted that new technology is being introduced to modernise operations, and furniture and equipment have been purchased to improve the comfort level of both internal and external stakeholders.

“This financial year, the NIS will commence the automation of its application and approval processes, beginning with funeral grants. Thereafter, other benefit types will be fully automated. Soon, the completion of paper application will be a thing of the past,” she pointed out.

Minister Robinson lauded the efforts of past and present employees of the NIS.

The NIS was the first of its kind to be launched in the Caribbean on April 4, 1966, as a department within the Ministry. At the time, it provided six benefits – retirement, invalidity, widow, widower, special child and orphan pensions.

Today, the NIS provides 13 benefits and grants where the qualifying conditions for a pension are not met.

Recently, a Reciprocal Social Security Agreement was signed with the United Kingdom, Canada, Quebec and 12 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries enabling Jamaicans to move from different countries while still benefiting from the scheme.