THE EDITOR, Sir:
As one of the Jamaica Teachers' Association contact teachers, and as a public-sector worker, I can identify with the need for pension reform.
However, I do not agree with the deduction of five per cent of workers' salaries, because that is a fairly large portion to be taken from what we have been prudently budgeting in order to save ourselves from sinking in the quicksand of poverty.
I suggest that the policymakers offer to the current public-sector workers options regarding the amount they want to contribute to their pension, for example, a choice ranging from two per cent to five per cent of their salary.
Let individuals choose from that range and the necessary documents be signed and filed away safely at the relevant ministry offices linked to their jobs and a copy placed on their record at their place of employment and also at the department responsible for the disbursement of pension funds.
Additionally, all persons working in the public sector or otherwise who will be liable for pension should name at least two beneficiaries who should get their benefits if they die before enjoying such benefits, or if they die within less than half the number of years they have served in the public sector.
Such persons should be encouraged to upgrade their beneficiary lists every five to 10 years in case there are changes in situation. For example, if a previously named beneficiary dies, it would be necessary to name another.
I hope my suggestion will reach the key decision makers for careful consideration and appropriate action in relation to the needs and affordability of the general populace.