Pensions holiday set for September

Both employer and employee must agree

The government hopes to bring legislation to create a provision for the temporary suspension of the private sector pension payment requirements during the September meeting of the House.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said government has investigated the feasibility of the temporary suspension and has issued instructions for amendments to the Pensions Law to be drafted.

‘This is to help stimulate the economy and take pressures off employers and well as employees,’ he said at a press briefing earlier this week.

Currently, employers are required to make a pension contribution of at least five per cent of an employee’s earnings up to CI$60,000 and the employee must make the same contribution per year. Self-employed people must make a contribution of 10 per cent of their salary, up to $60,000 per year.

Mr. Bush said the amended law would require both the employers and the employees to agree to the temporary suspension of pension payments for it to occur.

In addition, Mr. Bush said employers would have to be up-to-date on their pension payments before they could take advantage of the temporary suspension.

‘So those that are behind will have to cough up on their dirty acts, and they know who they are,’ said Mr. Bush.

With regard to how long the suspension of the pension payment requirements might be, Mr. Bush said the National Pensions Office was recommending it only be for three to six months. However, Mr. Bush said he’d like to see it for longer, given the current the economic situation.

‘I would like to see us give ourselves a year to give us a chance come out of this,’ he said.