Fri | Dec 15, 2017

Senate passes pension bills

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 5:37 PMJerome Reynolds
Johnson Smith

The Senate today passed legislation which will require public sector workers to contribute to their pensions.

A legislation which will allow for the establishment of a designated fund from which pensions will be paid was also passed.

The Pensions (Public Service) Act, 2017 was passed with 62 amendments and the Constitution (Amendment) (Established Fund) (Payment of Pension) Act, 2017 was approved without any amendments.

Both legislations were previously approved by the House of Representatives.

During the debate pensions act, Leader of Opposition Business, Mark Golding, expressed concern that no specific timeline was set in the legislation for setting up the pension fund.

The government has indicated that the fund would be established after the country attains a 60 per cent debt to GDP ratio.

Senator Golding argued that this is a flawed approach.

 

Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Mark Golding

Responding, Leader of Government Business, Kamina Johnson Smith, argued that the decision is in keeping with the policy direction of the government.

 

Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith

Currently, pension payments for the public sector are paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

But, the legislative change will see civil servants paying five per cent of their salaries to pay their pensions.

Under the new regime, teachers, the police and parochial officers will begin making contributory payments towards their pensions.