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Senate: support for pensions increases

Full backing: James Jardine

Legislation paving the way for the first pensions and benefits hike in five years for more than 12,000 seniors has been approved by senators.

The Contributory Pension Order 2016 will take effect from next month and involves increases of 5 per cent for benefits and 7.5 per cent for contributions.

Seniors getting $982 a month will see their benefits rise to $1,029 under the order that was debated by the Senate. Senator Renee Ming, of the Progressive Labour Party, said her party supported the Bill, adding it would provide “much needed relief” for seniors.

Independent senators James Jardine and Joan Dillas-Wright also backed the increase.

Mr Jardine said: “For many seniors this pension payment is a very important part of their remuneration. We continue to have electricity and food increases, which makes it difficult for seniors to make decisions of AC or fan and this or that food item.

“I am supportive of this increase.”

Senator Georgia Marshall, of the One Bermuda Alliance, noted Bermuda’s declining population and maintained that the island still needed more working people to contribute to the pension scheme.

Senators also passed legislation providing the Bermuda Monetary Authority with enhanced powers to regulate the investment fund industry.

The Investment Funds Amendment Act received support from both parties as well as the independent senators.

The America’s Cup Amendment Act 2016 was also passed, providing tax relief for merchandise, logos and uniforms associated with the America’s Cup.