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Feb 27, 2019

NTUCB, BCCI Support SSB Contribution Reform

It has been two years since the Social Security Board embarked in a consultation process to seek support for the adjustment of the Board’s contribution and pension scheme. The S.S.B. is critically close to what experts call the ‘period of equilibrium’ where total income equals total expenditure. In order to avoid a financial crash, the Board is looking to increase contributions. While these reforms are usually made every three to five years, the last modification was implemented in 2001, eighteen years ago. With more than one hundred thousand registered persons, the social security programme has grown significantly with the need to reform the contribution scheme as soon as possible. C.E.O., Dr. Colin Young, says that the B.C.C.I. and N.T.U.C.B. are supporting the proposal.

 

Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O., Social Security Board

Dr Colin Young

“We have been on this for two years now. A couple of weeks ago we were able to secure the conditional support of the proposal from the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a conditional support from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize for the proposal. And the proposal that is on the table right now is that we want to increase the contribution rate which is currently at eight percent, the lowest of the region behind Jamaica, to ten percent. The way we will get there is by increasing it half a percent this year, half a percent next year and one percent in 2021. In addition to that we want to increase the ceiling which is currently at three hundred and twenty dollars a week. We want to take that to five hundred and twenty dollars a week. But the way we will get there is also to phase it in. We’ll go from three-twenty to four-forty in 2019, from four-forty to four-eighty in 2020 and from four-eight to five-twenty in 2021. What this means in term of cash that employees would be paying in that at the low end for those earning seventy dollars and below, they will be paying, after the full reforms are implemented, twenty one cents more per week. At the high end, at the now five hundred and twenty, employees would be paying thirteen and eighty five cents more per week.”

 


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