Monday 30 November, 2020

Budget 2021: Gov’t to consider raising retirement age to 65

Government seems to have heeded longstanding calls for an increase in the retirement age.

This, as a “serious” review of the need to raise the retirement age from 60 is scheduled to take place some time in the future.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert made the revelation as he presented the national budget for fiscal 2021 in the Parliament on Monday.

He admitted the payout of benefits now surpasses contributions.

Imbert said: “With expenditure on benefits now exceeding contribution income we will take whatever steps necessary to maintain the integrity and viability of the National Insurance Board – including a serious examination of the need to extend the retirement age to 65.”

He said changes will be made with a view to ensure that the National Insurance Board remains able to provide citizens with income security for various needs including retirement, maternity, employment injury and funeral expenses.

Experts have long called for an increase in the retirement age to reduce the amount the State has to pay in pensions monthly.

The National Insurance Board’s 10th Actuarial Review noted that expenditure on the retirement benefit is projected to increase substantially, while the number of persons in the contributory base is set to decline.

The figures support a need for review, with the number of people over the age of 60 in Trinidad and Tobago is projected to almost double over the next 50 years, from 215,855 in 2016 to 408,806 by 2066.

The working age population (15-59 age group) will decline by almost 25 per cent over the same period.

The expected outcome is a negative impact on the sustainability of the National Insurance Scheme.

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