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Jul 26, 2017

S.S.B. Wants Stable Investment Options

Colin Young

According to Doctor Young, the investment income of the S.S.B. in the utility companies, the private sector and the agricultural industry has been keeping the fund buoyant over the years. But in the case of agriculture, that too is unstable based on several factors.

 

Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O., S.S.B.

“It is that income that is now covering the deficit that the Board experiences from contributions relative to our expenditure. That is why when you look at how you ensure that the scheme remains sustainable in the future, we have to look at ways and one of them is to increase the contributions. Another is to look at the administrative efficiency within the Social Security Board and then there are other parametric reforms that the actuary is saying that in the future we would have to consider. For example we may have to look at increasing the contribution rate which is the eight percent that is now shared between employer and employees.  S.S.B. has investments in the citrus industry and you are right, whenever there is an impact on the productivity that will have impact on the ability of the borrowers to repay. However, you may have seen in the public notice that we put out whenever there is an investment that the board has allocated another ten million dollars, as a credit facility, to qualify borrowers to come and access funding to transform the citrus industry. The truth of the issue here is that this industry is so critical to the economy of Belize in terms of foreign exchange, in terms of employment. When that industry is performing well, there is a number of employees, each of who contributes to the Social Security scheme. And so I can say that all of our investments are performing well; that we have in some cases, like with some agricultural loans, there are difficulties that come about because of like in the citrus industry, the hurricane had an impact. But none of those loans are nonperforming at the moment.”

 

Doctor Young says that an option is also to look at possibly increasing the retirement age. 

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