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  • The administration is seeking to implement the revised pension scheme for government workers no later than April 1, 2017.
  • The Bill proposes, among other things, that government workers contribute five percent of their salary towards their pension, commencing on a date to be determined by Cabinet.
  • As the Government moves to implement a new public sector pension system, the Finance Minister said it is also an opportune time for a review of private sector pension schemes.

The administration is seeking to implement the revised pension scheme for government workers no later than April 1, 2017.

The new pension benefit system is one of the structural benchmarks set out under the Government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that the proposed Pensions (Public Service) Bill, which was tabled in the House of Representatives last November, is being reviewed to determine if additional changes are needed.

He was speaking at a post-Budget media briefing at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston on Friday, May 13.

Mr. Shaw said the Bill will be taken to Cabinet for deliberations following which it will be brought back to Parliament.

The Bill proposes, among other things, that government workers contribute five percent of their salary towards their pension, commencing on a date to be determined by Cabinet.

It also proposes that benefits be computed using an average of the final five years of the beneficiary’s salary instead of the final pay as now pertains.

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

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said he will be reviewing the regulations stipulating the percentage of pension funds that can be invested in foreign currency assets.

This figure now stands at five percent, and Chairman of the Government’s Economic Growth Council, Michael Lee-Chin, has suggested that consideration be given to increasing the amount.

Mr. Shaw said he will be discussing the matter with Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, and the other relevant authorities.

As the Government moves to implement a new public sector pension system, the Finance Minister said it is also an opportune time for a review of private sector pension schemes.