Tourism Workers' Pension Act now in effect
…registration of workers to begin soonWednesday, February 05, 2020
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the appointed date on which the Tourism Workers' Pension Act came into operation was January 31, 2020, with registration for the scheme to begin soon.
Speaking at a recent press conference, Bartlett said: “This gazetted date sets the stage for the Board of Trustees to conclude the arrangements with the fund manager and the fund administrator.
The framework for the development of regulations is now underway.”
The Tourism Workers' Pensions scheme is designed to cover all workers ages 18-59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contract, or self-employed. This includes hotel workers as well as workers employed in related industries, such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators, and workers at attractions.
The Tourism Workers' Pension Scheme is to receive $1 billion in funding from the Ministry of Tourism, to augment the pool of funds. The Augmented Pension Beneficiaries will be people who joined the Scheme at 59 years-old. With the Ministry's injection of funds, these persons will qualify for a minimum pension.
Bartlett added that “The regulations will allow for 180 days period for the Augmented Pensions Beneficiaries. After we have designated that, those people will have the opportunity to register. Once they have registered, they will be on, and the programme begins with earnest with the ordinary members.”
The pension scheme will see persons contributing an initial three per cent of their income for the first three years and then five per cent after that — the employer then matches this contribution. However, employees have the option of giving up to 15 per cent of their salaries over time.
The distribution of the fund will be done in tranches, with the first disbursement taking place within this financial year (before the end of March 2020).