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#520801 - 01/11/17 04:19 PM Social Security Board public consultation meetings  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,571
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

Social Security Board is hosting public consultation meetings at differnt locations in Belize. In San Pedro, the meeting is January 17th, 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Lion's Club.

The purpose of the Public Consultation is to seek input from stakeholders in improving the financing and benefit structure.

At the meeting, you will be able to:

1) Provide your input on concepts specified during the discussions;

2) Gather first-hand information directly from the expert(s) on the performance of the Social Security Scheme.

For all those paying social security, we advise you all to attend this public consultation.

#520828 - 01/12/17 08:30 AM Re: Social Security Board public consultation meetings [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,224
Judyann H. Offline
Judyann H.  Offline
Wish we could attend....If anyone else from the message board does attend, would you please give your views or summary of the meeting?? ....As employers we pay one and half times of the employee's share of Social Security.....Therefore we would like to hear that the benefits to our staff members are adequately compensated. I would also like to add that out of all the government agencies or banks we work with here in Belize, the Social Security Department is the most professional. Their guidelines are clearly stated and adhered to throughout the organization.... It does not change from staff member to staff member. Therefore a big thank you to Social Security of Belize..... smile

My friends call me Judyann
#520845 - 01/13/17 06:17 AM Re: Social Security Board public consultation meetings [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,571
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

Social Security Wants To Talk About Increasing Benefits And Contributions

The Social Security Board is embarking on a round of public consultations across the country to talk about increasing benefits - which also means increasing contributions. But don't get too alarmed, this is only very preliminary discussions. The fact is, Belize's Social Security Fund is one of the most stagnant in the region; in three decades, the contribution structure has only changed once - and that was in 2001. The effect of this is that those who make more than $320 dollars per week - which is almost half the working population - don't have adequate coverage. And that means that when they retire, they won't get a pension commensurate with what they had been earning.

And that's why Social Security has set up 14 consultations in cities, towns and villages to ask workers - and employers - if they are willing to give more, to get more, especially those earning larger salaries.

But, before they got started with the rest of the country, they met the media today, to put the word out that they want to talk, but more than that, they want to listen:...

Hernando Perez Montas - Actuary, BSSB
"The scheme starting in 1981, the first set of amendments took place 20 years later in 2001 and now we are in 2017 and no substantial amendments have taken place. So the ceiling has remained stagnant at 320 and the analysis showed that a large proportion of it insured persons are making already more than 320 dollars a week."

Jules Vasquez, 7News
"Is this out of step with the region of the world?"

Hernando Perez Montas - Actuary, BSSB
"It is certainly out of state. Most schemes not only all over the world in the CARICOM area in Central America no more than every 3 or 4 years there are legal amendments."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino - Mgr., Policy & Planning, BSSB
"if we will be raising the ceiling of contributions from 300 to 500 let's say, well more than likely the persons who will be affected are the persons in that wage band in that group and they will be the ones who would more than likely be paying for the increase in their benefit. So it's basically equated to the persons that will be receiving the benefits and I just to go back..."

Jules Vasquez
"Employers are also affected in that, because it would mean that the more highly paid persons within a business, a greater contribution would have to be made."

Chandra Nisbet Cansino - Mgr., Policy & Planning, BSSB
"Yes and the discussion with the employers is extremely important to us. At this point we are engaging the public on a whole. However, as soon as we gather a general consensus from the public, we will be narrowing down our consultations to the employer groups as well as the worker groups which will also be the unions. It's definitely open ended. No discussions have been taken or made. The board is asking that we conduct he consultations to be able to hear from the stakeholders to be able to get an input from the persons that will be affected most. I can categorically state that no decision has been made that this is simply and introduction of the concept of reform."

Jules Vasquez
"But still it's a consultation where people would have to pay more out of their pocket. Are you anticipation bracing for a blowback?"

Chandra Nisbet Cansino - Mgr., Policy & Planning, BSSB
"Well like I said the objective of the consultation is simply to introduce the concept. So we are not giving the public any information on any decisions that have been made, which I think is a different approach. We are telling you this has to be done, the fund is mature. We have come to a point where we need to increase the contributions and we want to hear from you, what do you think is the best way going forward? We don't have details to provide, because we are really seeking input from the public. It's a genuine effort to seek input from the public."

Jules Vasquez
"Yes, advice is good, consultations are good but at the end of the day the population is getting older and the government has to take the bull by the horns, because people have to be provided by for."

Hernando Perez Montas - Actuary, BSSB
"I think now it's the political will, the board has taken the decision to go ahead with public consultation and then we will meet with the representative of stakeholders, the chamber of commerce, the unions, to fine tune the legal amendment that we are going to propose to the government."

Community Consultations begin tomorrow morning in Independence and continue up until January 21st in Placencia. After that, the social security team will meet with Unions and employers.

Channel 7

#521056 - 01/20/17 12:49 PM Re: Social Security Board public consultation meetings [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,571
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

Social Security holds public consultation on proposed increase in contribution wage bands

The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has publicly denied the rumours of any increase in the contribution wage bands for 2017. However, at a public consultation on Tuesday, January 17th in San Pedro Town, the SSB engaged island residents in a discussion regarding a possible increase in the contributions for 2018. The consultation was led by General Manager of Policy and Programs at SSB, Chandra Cansino, who explained that if approved, the new increase will primarily affect persons that are making a salary between $300 to $500 dollars per week. According to her, employers will also be affected by the new norm once the increase is approved. “The contributions that the employers make will be affected to some extent, however, in order to finalize by how much, we need to have more conversations with employers, and unions as to how the distribution will be in regards to that,” said Cansino.

She emphasized that currently, nothing is final, and that the new proposal is just an opportunity to change the current system SSB has been using for the past years, which limits benefits and puts a strain on the institution. “We want to continue engaging the public and get their feedback on the proposed increase,” said Cansino. “We want to know if you think it is a good idea or not, and what are some recommendations and suggestions we can get from everyone.” Cansino explained that the percentage for contributions will not change, and it will remain at its actual 8%. “The proposed increase will reflect according to what your earnings are,” she said. She also indicated that in Central America, Belize has the lowest percentage of SSB contributions and the second lowest in the Caribbean.

Before the presentations ended, the audience was provided with some details of what the benefits will be for both employees and employers if the proposal is approved. “Of course, the more you contribute, the better the benefits will be,” said Cansino. According to her, the new system will allow workers with higher incomes to ensure a higher portion of earnings, which at the end will result in higher benefits. “Benefits will be kept in line with normal progression of salaries. Also it will allow insured persons access to higher pensions more in align to actual earnings,” explained Cansino. As for employers, they will benefit via a reduction in direct cost for employees on leaves, such as maternity. The weekly benefit payments will be greatly reduced under the new wage bands. Cansino also stated that the direct cost for employees on sickness benefit for the first 16 days will also see a reduction in payments for employers.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

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