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  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the House of Representatives is expected to commence deliberations on the Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme regulations at its next sitting.
  • Speaking during a digital media briefing at the Ministry on Thursday (April 2), Mr. Bartlett indicated that he tabled a motion in the House on March 31, seeking to bring the regulations, which are critical to the scheme’s administration, into effect.
  • “So, the debate will take place when the House meets again, then it will be approved and that will be behind us, so that once we get back on track (after the coronavirus (COVID-19) has passed, the pension programme will be in place,” he noted.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the House of Representatives is expected to commence deliberations on the Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme regulations at its next sitting.

Speaking during a digital media briefing at the Ministry on Thursday (April 2), Mr. Bartlett indicated that he tabled a motion in the House on March 31, seeking to bring the regulations, which are critical to the scheme’s administration, into effect.

“So, the debate will take place when the House meets again, then it will be approved and that will be behind us, so that once we get back on track (after the coronavirus (COVID-19) has passed, the pension programme will be in place,” he noted.

Mr. Bartlett advised that the initial $250 million of the $1 billion committed to the scheme by the Government has been paid over to the fund manager, Sagicor Jamaica Limited.

He said the Board of Trustees’ appointment of the fund manager and administrator, Guardian Life Limited, coupled with the House’s approval of the regulations, will pave the way for the Scheme’s implementation “to begin immediately as we turn around [from COVID-19].”

The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is in keeping with the Government’s focus on creating a social security network within the sector.

It is one component of a three-pronged human capital development plan for industry workers, which includes training and capacity building.

The Scheme is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation and will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers.

It will cover all workers in the tourism sector, aged 18 to 59, whether permanent, contractual or self-employed.

These include hotel workers as well as persons employed in related industries, such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.

Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older to persons who have met the vested period of five years.

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