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Legislation to move pension fund payments suspension tabled

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

Legislation has been tabled to let the finance minister move the temporary suspension of payments by Government workers into their pension fund.

The amendments, tabled on Friday, would give the Minister the power to retroactively shift the 12-month period for some workers.

Similar legislation was also tabled to allow the Minister to move the suspension of contributions to the superannuation fund.

The amendments if approved would be backdated to June 27, 2020 for the superannuation fund legislation and June 29 last year for the pension legislation.

The 12-month suspensions were offered by Government last year in to offset temporary pay reductions forced by the Covid-19 crisis.

The suspension of payments to contributory pensions started last July and is scheduled to end on June 30 this year.

The suspension of payments to the superannuation fund started last August and will end on July 31 for most Government employees.

But the suspension for teachers was given a start date of September 1 last year and was scheduled to end on August 31.

The amendments tabled last Friday would allow the Minister to order a different 12-month period than those listed for “such category or categories as may be specified by the Minister of Finance by order”.

The clause said that changes would be retrospective and subject to the negative resolution procedure, which would allow them to become law immediately without the need for Parliamentary approval.

Government also tabled amendments to the Fire Safety Act 2014 to establish the Chief Fire Officer as the authority responsible for enforcing national fire prevention association regulations on the island.

The amendments would allow the Chief Fire Officer to issue written guidance on the interpretation, application and modification of NFPA codes and give written directions for compliance.

The changes would be backdated with a start date of to January 1, 2018, the date the Fire Safety Act came into force.

The amendments also clarified that any directions the chief fire officer issued to enforce regulations since then was “validly exercised or performed”.

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Published May 11, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated May 11, 2021 at 7:28 am)

Legislation to move pension fund payments suspension tabled

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