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posted 5 Jan 2011, 21:22 by Gerry Kangalee

In his budget presentation on 8th September, 2010, Finance Minister Winston Dookeran, informed the Parliament that:

“The government will therefore examine the feasibility of moving towards a retirement system involving:
A mandatory employment based system: this system would be entirely funded by employers and employees. It would be similar to the current National Insurance Board Pension, but with the distinction that the self employed would be included...

This is the first in the Government’s thrust towards creating a harmonised pension system which will incorporate public service pensions, the National Insurance Board and Senior Citizens Pensions.”

So here we go again with Minister Dookeran trying to further pauperise the working people. Everybody should remember when former Minister Ken Valley harmonised the NIS Pension with Old Age Pension. As a result of this harmonisation, those NIS Pensioners who were entitled to receive an Old Age Pension received a smaller amount of Old Age Pension. That is what harmonisation amounts to. It reduces your retirement income.

Therefore, when your occupational pension plan is harmonised with NIS pension it will be even worse. For example if your occupational pension at retirement amounts to $4,000 per month, then with the NIS Minimum Pension of $2000 per month, your total retirement income would be $6,000 per month.

However under Dookeran’s harmonisation your OCCUPATIONAL PENSION WOULD BE REDUCED BY THE NIS PENSION.

Therefore your total retirement income would be $2,000 from your occupational pension plus $2,000 NIS Minimum Pension = $4,000 per month. This means that your retirement income was reduced by $2,000 per month.

How could Errol McLeod and David Abdulah vote to support these measures especially since the OWTU was always the vanguard fighter against harmonisation of our pensions with NIS pensions.

I had hoped that the reasons for their parliamentary and public silence on this matter was not because of 30 pieces of silver. But then, NUGFW Leader, James Lambert is also silent when his members will lose the most when the Government brings the new pension plan for all the daily rated workers. Did his appointment to the WASA Board and the HDC Board shut him up?

Wake up my comrades.