MONTEGO BAY — Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is stressing the need for Jamaicans to begin planning for retirement as early as possible.
The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the launch of a series of retirement seminars today (August 10) at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay, said retirement is much different than it was 50 years ago, as, through improved healthcare and work conditions, people are living longer.
"Jamaicans are living much longer than before, but if they continue to retire at the same age as now, without increased private savings, then the cost of supporting the older members of society will inevitably rise," he stated.
Under the theme: ‘Retirement is A Process, Not An Event – Be Prepared", the seminars are being organised through the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), an agency of the Ministry.
The sessions, from August to September, are geared towards persons near to retirement, younger workers 35 years and over, as well as self-employed persons.
Minister Kellier is encouraging members of the public to participate in the series of seminars, so that there can be broad understanding of the implications of not planning properly for retirement.
Also to be examined are: the need for a retirement age; and whether workers should go straight from full-time work to full-time "non-work."
"Whatever your answer to these questions, whether as employers or employees, there is the need to focus on the benefits of gradual, phased-out and planned withdrawal from the labour force. All of these point to the need for innovations in the policy if we are to have changes, and the Government has started to give these and related issues serious consideration," Minister Kellier said.
Today's session also included presentations on: family indemnity plan, housing solution, micro and small business loan schemes, administration of estates, and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).