ORG addresses the status quo of the National Insurance Commission – Eye Witness News

To the editor,

Looking at Bahama’s long-term social and economic sustainability, the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) has been influenced by the Government’s recent remarks on the current and future situation of the National Insurance Commission (NIB). I would like to consider about. ..

Recently, the government has provided several statements that reflect a significant and ongoing dilemma between the long-term needs of the Bahamas and the imminent socio-economic situation of our people. It was noted that the NIB’s contributions would not be able to sustain the required payments and would be exhausted by 2028 unless urgent action was taken. A possible strategy was initially proposed in which contributions would increase by 1.5 to 2 percent by 2023, but with reference to this, it will increase further over a period of time. However, the government then responded to media inquiries that the increase would not be considered at this time in order to avoid an immediate negative impact on the Bahamian people during this difficult economic situation.

The important role of the NIB in the Bahamas as a major source of economic benefits to different segments of the population cannot be denied. This is especially true for vulnerable communities such as retired and disabled people. The NIB’s mission and purpose of supporting Bahamian makes its failure and its consequent socio-economic implications almost unthinkable. Simply put, the Bahamas needs an NIB that works to achieve a positive and sustainable future.

As the International Labor Organization (ILO) points out in its 2018 Social Protection Plan Financing Report, the Government is Social to Assist Citizens Through Growing Local, Regional and Global Crisis. It is important to maintain the integrity of the protection scheme. As an example, during the double crisis of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bahamas funded nearly $ 100 million in unemployment benefits through the NIB, with an additional $ 92 million through a government-funded unemployment support program. I was paid.

However, the dilemma presented in the government exchange on how to deal with the current NIB issues reflects a larger systematic issue. Recognizing the unprecedented and significant financial difficulties of the Bahamas’ current situation, the successor government has taken a similar position to delay addressing the fundamental issues of the highly time-sensitive NIB.

The NIB was created in accordance with the National Insurance Act of 2006 to provide income alternatives for illness, invalidity, childbirth, retirement, death, occupational accidents / illnesses, and unwilling loss of income. However, there has been a long-standing discrepancy in the NIB, which has been repeatedly pointed out and exists between available funds, current contributions, and long-term feasibility of the scheme.

A 2005 report by the Government-established Social Security Reform Commission states that the NIB is financially sustainable unless the government takes steps to improve fund planning and management for future generations of contributors. Sexual issues were recognized and predicted to be depleted by 2029. In addition, the NIB acknowledged the need for reform in a 2009 public response to the proposal provided by the Nassau Institute, which encourages increased contributions to support the long-term sustainability of the scheme. Funds Relevant, Vibrant and Significant Benefits After 2032 In 2018, the Draft Bahama National Development Plan presents Results 7.8.4 as strengthening the sustainability of the NIB’s social security scheme. Did. In addition, the need for increased contributions to maintain the financial status of the National Insurance Commission was hinted at by the government in 2015 and 2021. It is now almost 20 years after the 2005 statement of concern, despite various amendments and adjustments. The scheme predicts that the fund will run out much sooner than expected.

The 2005 report also noted the risks inherent in managing NIB principles and the need to coordinate investment strategies to combat expected domestic and global interest rate declines. These declines are happening as expected, and despite the many unexpected events that have negatively impacted the Bahamas economy, such as hurricanes and the global financial crisis, the current state of the NIB is effective and sustainable. It does not reflect plans or controls. ..

In addition, the fund has been regularly used by many government agencies as a secondary government funding pool with minimal and consistent rationale for such actions. Unrealized housing development, return government projects, and even the Bahamas Bank’s bailouts have occurred to undermine NIB’s long-term financial position. Basically, the NIB is not designed to act as an alternative source of income or to provide the government with resources to bail out bad investments. In response to this practice, civil society and the private sector continue to make urgent and unanswered calls for greater transparency regarding the use of NIB funds and investments. There is a strong need for an immediate, clear and open long-term plan for effective long-term financial management and recovery of fund viability.

The ILO 2018 report states that good governance and management of social protection programs is important for building public confidence in the system and providing better tripartite oversight. Please note that the last public report of the board of directors is from 2017, even though Article 47 of the National Health Care Act requires the preparation of an annual public report. Going forward, we need to provide a more transparent account of NIB’s efforts over the last three years to meet public interest and enable more open cross-cutting planning. To regain public confidence in the scheme, it is necessary to get a complete picture of the financial condition and soundness of the fund and how feasibility is established before the increase in contributions begins. It is important.

ORG, like many other government and quasi-government agencies, recognizes that the National Insurance Commission faces significant operational challenges in need of urgent relief. .. Many of these are the result of decades of short-term “painless” politically safe approaches. Our current situation amid rising inflation and the global economic fuel crisis does not provide an ideal time to tackle the NIB’s long-standing problems. However, the Bahamas had few other options, as they had avoided the pain of significant long-term reforms for years. There is no more time to avoid pain, as evidenced by the imminent risk of final depletion of the NIB. To achieve sustainability, the NIB must be modified to address the needs of future Bahamans.

ORG develops a clear, open and transparent plan to address issues within the NIB and encourages governments to urgently work to pave the way for long-term feasibility. Cooperation between government, the private sector, and civil society is the best opportunity to develop sound, effective and sustainable plans that meet the needs of current and future citizens. Bahamian citizens who contribute to the plan deserve confidence and confidence in the feasibility of the NIB to meet their long-term needs. Failure to do so risks seriously negatively impacting the growth of the private sector and the social protection of our vulnerable segments. ORG addresses the status quo of the National Insurance Commission – Eye Witness News

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