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  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to implementing the proposed contributory public-sector pension scheme by April 2017.
  • The Bill to formalise proposals for the reform arrangements was retabled by Minister Shaw in the House of Representatives in August.
  • It proposes, among other things, that Government workers contribute five per cent of their salary towards their pension; that benefits be computed using an average of the final five years of the beneficiary’s salary, instead of the final pay as now obtains.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government remains committed to implementing the proposed contributory public-sector pension scheme by April 2017.

Pension reform is a structural benchmark under the four-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The Bill to formalise proposals for the reform arrangements was retabled by Minister Shaw in the House of Representatives in August.

It proposes, among other things, that Government workers contribute five per cent of their salary towards their pension; that benefits be computed using an average of the final five years of the beneficiary’s salary, instead of the final pay as now obtains.

Additionally, retirees would be given the option of receiving one quarter of their entitlements with reduced or full pension benefits.

Addressing Prime Asset Management Limited’s pension seminar at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on September 29, Minister Shaw said the reform is necessary as the Administration “can no longer afford a non-contributory scheme”. He noted that the annual pension bill is $26 billion, and that the figure is growing.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said he is looking to consult with private-sector representatives on how best the private-sector pension regime can be improved.

“I think it is important… and in the same way that we are reforming different areas, that (private sector regime) needs (to be) reformed,” he pointed out.

Mr. Shaw said consideration will be given to incentivising the process “so that companies will be eager to put their own pension plans in place”.

The seminar was jointly staged with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) under the theme ‘Mandatory Pensions: Averting the Retirement Crisis of Tomorrow’.
It focused on exploring and discussing workable and sustainable pension solutions for retirees.