by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board has been providing sickness, maternity, invalidity and age benefits to insured persons and their families of St. Kitts and Nevis for 45 years.
The Social Security Fund commenced operations on 1 February 1978, with similar objectives to Social Security systems in countries worldwide.
The theme this year is Transform, Reform, Thrive; Social Security 45, and to celebrate, various activities, including a church service, awards gala and more, will be held.
Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Social Security, the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew delivered a message on the 45th Anniversary of the national insurance scheme.
The Prime Minister highlighted how Social Security has contributed to nation-building through contributions to health, education, local capital investments and more.
As with previous reports on the fund’s longevity, it is estimated that the fund will be depleted by 2040 without changes to the structure of the fund.
According to the annual Actuarial Review, the Social Security Board is set to reform the fund’s structure to enhance its relevance and sustainability.
One significant reform focuses on the Age pension with suggestions to:
(a) Increase the pensionable age to 65;
(b) Increase the number of years over which wages are averaged for pension calculations;
(c) Revise the schedule of accrual rates to eliminate the heavy weighting for the first ten years and instead have a more gradual increase to the maximum of 60% after 40 years; and
(d) Change from an “Age” benefit to a “Retirement” benefit so that one’s employment or income status after pensionable age is reached affects whether the pension is payable.