Pension legislation review slated for House

  • Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Legislation designed to allow pension contributions to be suspended for a year is expected to be debated in the House of Assembly today.

The proposed change will be accompanied by a plan for a 12-month halt to social insurance contributions.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said this week that he wanted to amend the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998 “to allow for a suspension of employee and employer contributions” from July 1 to June 30 next year.

He added: “Participating employees will benefit from a 5 per cent increase in their take-home pay.”

Mr Dickinson added that amendments to the Contributory Pensions Act 1970 would allow employees, employers and people who are self-employed to suspend social insurance contribution payments for the same period.

He added that the proposal would offer “relief” to employees of $143.68 a month.

MPs were also expected to consider a Bill designed to help monitor the price of essential goods on the island.

The Cost of Living Commission Amendment Act 2020, if passed, would mean businesses that sell “essential commodities” would have to provide price information to the commission so that it can “efficiently and accurately inform members of the public”.

Other legislation expected to be tabled includes changes to the Employment Act 2000 drawn up to offer a reprieve on redundancy payouts to help businesses hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour, said on Tuesday that the move, if approved, would allow a break from the legal requirement for a layoff to become a termination after four months.

He added: “The purpose of this amendment is to protect both employees and employers in these unprecedented times.

“In the face of the global pandemic, employees should not lose their benefit entitlement of redundancy pay under the Act.

“This must be protected. On the other hand, employers with little or no cash, and significantly lower revenues due to the pandemic, should not be forced into bankruptcy by paying these benefits.”

Ministerial statements on the subjects of gang violence and charities are also expected to be delivered at the virtual session of the House.

To view the Order of Business, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”

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Published Jun 19, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 19, 2020 at 7:35 am)

Pension legislation review slated for House

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