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Jun 1, 2021

Social Security Board at 40

Deborah Ruiz

Today, June first, Social Security Board celebrates forty years of service to Belizeans.  Over the last four decades, the board has seen exponential growth. Its staff has increased by over one thousand percent. Just about quarter of the population is insured with Social Security and the board’s contributions have grown from six to eight figures. To kick off their fortieth anniversary celebration, the S.S.B. hosted the media at Biltmore in Belize City on Monday evening.  Acting C.E.O. Deborah Ruiz gave an overview of the progress made over the last forty years.


Deborah Ruiz, Acting C.E.O., S.S.B.

“The work towards the establishment of Social Security started decades before. By many committed Belizeans and consultants doing the requisite research, public consultations, actuarial and feasibility studies. The right honorable George Cadle Price Father of the Nation when interviewed in 2005 had told us that the need for a social insurance scheme like social security was recognized from the start of the movement now sited as the Peaceful Belizean Revolution, the start of the P.U.P. in the 1950’s. At the end of 1981, our contributions totaled just two million six hundred dollars. This year, 2021, he is hopeful to meet our target of one hundred and nine million dollars, and perhaps exceeding that, depending on the performance of the economy. Our staff has grown from the twenty-six I mentioned to well over three hundred members today. The number of insured persons has increased from twenty-four thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight persons to over a hundred and four thousand active insured persons. The number of employers has also increased from two thousand five hundred and fifty-three to eleven thousand and thirty-three to date. I n 1981, social security benefit payout was a hundred and ninety thousand. For 2021, our projected benefit payout is estimated at some ninety-eight point three million dollars, pensions being the majority of those. In 1981, investment income was only seventy-six thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight. Based on the current estimates our portfolio is expected to perform at twenty-three point seven million at the end of 2021. Obviously S.S.B. has grown tremendous in size and scope.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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