Jamaica News: The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme will allow for flexible contributions through its use of individual retirement savings accounts, says Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Mr. Bartlett explained that each tourism enterprise worker who joins the scheme will have his or her own retirement savings account with their contributions, their employers’ contributions and interest accumulated.
He added that the pension scheme will facilitate breaks in contribution due to periods of unemployment or overseas employment.
“This is contribution based on employment, so if you are not working, you cannot make a contribution. However, it doesn’t change the fact that you have an account with money in it and that you are a member of the pension scheme. So, you pick up after you start working again and you contribute,” said Mr. Bartlett.
The Minister explained that being employed to a local multinational company would not cause a break in contributions if the employee is paid from that company’s headquarters in Jamaica. However, the break would come if the employee is paid from another jurisdiction.
The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is expected to come into effect in 2020.
For her part, Chair of the Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme Oversight Committee, Hon. Daisy Coke, underscored the flexibility in making contributions to the scheme and the security of the savings account.
“Once you become a member of the scheme, you are automatically vested for your entire working life. So, your account remains and it continues to earn an investment income,” she said.
Mrs. Coke explained that if someone goes abroad and comes back to work in the same sector or moved from employed status to self-employed status, that person would still have his or her account in the pension fund and can add to it.
The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is designed to cover persons who are self-employed, on contract or directly employed in the tourism sector and with a retirement savings account that will be portable across places of employment within the local tourism sector.
The Ministry of Tourism’s Strategic Planning and Evaluation Division may be contacted for one-on-one or small group consultations on the pension scheme at their New Kingston offices and by telephone at 876-920-4926-30.
Source: JIS News