Saturday 7 December, 2019

Ready to retire? 3 reasons you need your electronic birth certificate

Feeling overwhelmed at work and counting down the days to retirement?  At some point, you will want to sit back and enjoy the fruits of years of hard work. But, did you know that having a birth certificate without your first name may restrict your access to pension, annuities and other services as you get older?

Here are three reasons why you need a birth certificate when planning for retirement:

1. Accessing Pension - The Senior Citizens’ Grant (Old Age Pension) is a monthly grant given to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who are 65 years of age and over. The Grant is based on income; monthly income must not exceed $3,500 TTD. Banks now require customers to present their electronic birth certificate before creating a standing order or account to accept pension payments.

2. Creating a New Annuity - If you are thinking about setting up an annuity, many insurance companies also need a birth certificate and one other form of national ID (ID Card, Passport or Driver’s License) to create the account. An annuity is a financial product that allows you to pay premiums and then receive regular or lump sum payments in the future, usually upon maturity of the plan or at retirement.  

Approved deferred annuity contributions are also tax deductible!  One of the great things about buying an annuity before you retire is that it can help lower your tax bill and provide a guaranteed source of income later in life. An annuity will mature when you are between 50 and 75 years old, depending on the terms of your annuity.

3. Getting a Passport - If you are planning to travel when you retire, you will need a passport.  If you have never had a machine readable passport, you will need to apply to the Immigration Department to get a new passport. You will need to submit your electronic birth certificate that specifies your first name with your application.

Your birth certificate is the first form of identification you receive as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago. If the certificate is missing your first name, you may face challenges in accessing government services, as more and more government department, banks and insurance companies view the birth certificate as an important national identification document.  

If you need to insert your first name on your birth certificate, visit any Registrar General’s Department office in Arima, San Fernando, Port of Spain or Tobago. When you collect your updated birth certificate, check it carefully for spelling and other errors before you accept it from the office.  The insertions service only applies to persons who are missing a first name or a father’s name on their birth certificate.  

To learn more, check out this video or the AGLA’s Facebook page.  

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