BPSU: Unsuitable time for NIB rate hikes

President Kimsley Ferguson of the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) said yesterday that it was not the right time to raise contributions to the National Insurance Commission (NIB) and that retirement should not be raised from 65 to 67. rice field.

“We know that one of the main means by which the government can carry out the agenda is to tax citizens,” he was asked about the recommendations contained in the NIB’s 11th Actuarial Review. Ferguson said.

“At this point, we do not support the increased contribution of NIB. We have been challenged. [Hurricane] Dorian, we’ve been challenging COVID-19, but the Bahamans are having a hard time.

“I still have families who are still unemployed …. No, I don’t support the increase at this time.”

Many Bahamans are still recovering from the durians that devastated the communities of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Others have recovered from the global shutdown caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, causing record inflation in 2022.

When asked when the appropriate time for the increase was, Ferguson said, “Recovery, general recovery is needed not only in the Bahamian economy, but also in the lives of the Bahamans themselves, who have been challenged in all situations. Regarding COVID-19.

“Before considering that, we need some buoyancy in relation to the local economy.”

Report obtained by Nassau GuardianRecommends raising the contribution rate immediately. Note that the current route will exhaust the NIB pension branch reserves in 2028.

The report states that in order to pay the full amount in 2029, the contribution rate will need to be significantly increased from 9.8 percent to 16.9 percent.

The report added that the contribution rate required to pay all expenditures for all branches over the next 60 years is 22.55 percent.

When asked about the report, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said on Monday that he had not yet decided whether his administration would increase his contribution.

“A recommendation has been made. It won’t be off the table until you decide whether to accept it. As I’ve shown, we haven’t done that yet,” Davis said. rice field.

“We need to assess all other financial issues, that is, how to deal with how the economy grows, where to earn new income, how effective collecting efforts are, and so on. You need to decide.

“And if we can find ways and means to ease the burden on poor Bahamans and Bahamian workers, we will.”

Ferguson said: “We know that NIB contributions will inevitably increase, but the concern for civil servants is that they haven’t actually increased in years.

“So if you haven’t given them anything, what are you going to take from?”

The prime minister announced in a budget newsletter in May that salary increases for most civil servants in the new fiscal year are underway.

It was also promised to raise the minimum wage.

Regarding NIB, Ferguson said the government needs to be more creative.

“Not all is to burden taxpayers in this country who are not receiving income or are increasing in line with their living expenses,” he said.

The report also recommends raising the retirement age from 65 to 67.

He said the new retirement age could reduce the short-term financial pressures of the NIB.

According to the report, such increases usually need to be planned over the long term so that they do not affect the current population, which is close to retirement or acquired rights.

But Mr Ferguson said many civil servants may not even be alive to see 67.

“The average life expectancy of a civil servant is basically 65, and if you’re very healthy, you’ll be 70,” he said.

“So, in my view … the recommendation to change the retirement age to 67 isn’t always alive to see 67, so it will actually be detrimental to some people. Obligation.

“I think 65 is fine. I think the government needs to find other ways and means to maintain the National Health Insurance entity.” BPSU: Unsuitable time for NIB rate hikes

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