Kingston, Jamaica (JIS) – Government is to implement the revised pension scheme for public-sector workers on June 1, 2017.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday (April 5) passed legislation paving the way for public-sector pension reform.
The Bills are the Pensions (Public Service) Act, 2017 and The Constitution (Amendment) (Established Fund) (Payment of Pension) Act, 2017.
Under the new regime, civil servants, the police, teachers and parochial officers will begin making contributory payments towards their pensions.
Closing the debate on the Bills, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the scheme will begin on a phased basis with the police, teachers and parochial officers initially contributing 2.5 per cent of their salaries, instead of the full five per cent stipulated under the new legislation.
He also informed that civil servants will continue to contribute four per cent of their salaries, which was previously paid into the Widows and Orphans Fund.
“All groups will continue to contribute these amounts in 2018, until April 1, 2019, when the total contributions for all groups will increase to five per cent. Everyone, in 2019, will be contributing five per cent of their salary towards their pension,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Finance Minister also informed that Regulations to govern the provisions of the Pensions (Public Service) Bill are already drafted.
The Pensions (Public Service) Act establishes a defined benefit contributory scheme where all pensionable officers will contribute five per cent of salary, while at the same time establishing a segregated fund.
The Constitution (Amendment) (Established Fund) (Payment of Pension) Act amends the Constitution to provide for the payment of pensions, gratuities and allowances out of the pension fund.
Currently, the Constitution only allows for pensions, gratuities and other allowances granted in respect of the public service to be charged on, and paid out of the Consolidated Fund