The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) on April 15 observed its 46th anniversary with a National Church Service, at the Church of the Transfiguration in Meadowbrook, Kingston.
Acting Director of the NIS, Portia Magnus, explained that the annual observance highlighted the importance of the scheme, which has touched the lives of so many Jamaicans islandwide.
Importantly, she noted that 46 years of existence of such a programme is indeed a milestone in the history of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and by extension, Jamaica, considering the fact that it involves social protection.
“The thanksgiving service was indeed a time to reflect on the achievements of the NIS, which provided us with the opportunity to worship and thank the Lord for allowing the NIS to have prospered throughout its 46 years of existence,” she told JIS News.
Miss Magnus said that over the years, the NIS has embarked on a number of strategies to promote the scheme as a contribution rather than a tax, realising the importance of saving for the future.
Some of the strategies are: a newly created tagline, a jingle, school visits, and several public education programmes.
She informed that although the scheme has been thriving over the years, there are a number of areas that need to be examined, in order for the NIS to reach its full potential.
“With the observance of the 46th anniversary, we will be taking the time to consider what more needs to be done to promote the scheme in a more attractive manner.
We will also be streamlining the way we operate, so we can be more technologically savvy, to better serve current and potential beneficiaries of the scheme,” Miss Magnus said.
The Acting Director informed that the scheme is positioned to grow, taking into consideration the direction that it is moving in, which will help to strengthen the nation’s social safety net.
The NIS is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme, which provides retirement, invalidity, special child, orphan, maternity and employment injury benefits; funeral grant, health insurance plan, and widower’s/widow’s pension to citizens of Jamaica.
For more information on NIS, persons can visit the parish offices island wide, or contact the Ministry’s Head Office at 876-922-8000-9.
Information on the NIS can also be accessed through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s website at: www.mlss.gov.jm.
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS PRO