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In its continued bid to enhance the productivity of tourism workers and secure the sustainability of the industry, the Ministry of Tourism, in partnership with several financial entities, has begun efforts to facilitate the development of pension and retirement options within the sector.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), having a light conversation with Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Evaluation, Ministry of Tourism, Wesley VanRiel at the forum on pension and retirement planning for workers in the tourism industry, held on June 24, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston.

Addressing participants at a forum on pensions and retirement planning for workers in the tourism industry, held on June 24 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett pointed out that the main aim of the initiative is to promote increased awareness of pensions and retirement planning among tourism industry workers and employers.
“In the tourism industry, many workers, employed and self-employed, do not have the protection of a proper pension or retirement plan, which makes for a very uncertain future when they stop working,” Minister Bartlett said, adding that the setting up of pension schemes in the sector was identified as a priority objective.
“Government does not intend to establish pension or retirement schemes for the tourism industry, but instead, will create a partnership with the tourism industry and pension plan providers to ensure that suitable arrangements will be made to provide pension and retirement benefits to industry employees,” Minister Bartlett clarified.
He further explained that the Ministry of Tourism entered into a partnership with certain pension providers who were selected through a tender process to implement the initiative.
He said that the pension and retirement planning options will not be limited to a particular sub-sector, but will spread across all sectors that are directly and indirectly linked to the industry.
“We want to provide coverage possibilities for the red cap at the airport, the JUTA driver, the taxi operator who works within the industry, workers in the attractions sub-sector, the cruise sub-sector and the self-employed, such as our craft vendors. We are looking, therefore, for a fit to embrace the widest possibilities within the industry,” the Minister said.
Key partners with the Ministry of Tourism include: Guardian Life, Jamaica National Building Society, NCB Insurance Limited and Scotia Insurance.