Pensions under spotlight

An actuary seconded by the International Labour Organisation is in the country to look into issues regarding the co-existence of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and private pension schemes in order to provide professional assessment of the state of pensions.

The actuary is expected to make recommendations on the optimum level of contributions to NSSA’s national pension scheme in relation to benefits.

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.

Actuaries provide expert assessments of financial security systems with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms.

It is anticipated that the evaluation would be complete by the end of June and a report submitted to the government.

The report would determine whether current contribution levels, insurable earnings ceilings and pensions are adequate or need revision.

NSSA general manager James Matiza said the company appreciated that current pension levels, even though they might be better than those of private schemes, remained low.

“We would dearly love to raise pension levels but can only do so if contribution rates are sufficient to sustain such levels in respect of present and future pensions,” he said.

“We look to independent actuaries for guidance on such matters and hope that the recommendations of the international actuary currently undertaking an evaluation of our pension schemes will be accepted by the government and other stakeholders, no matter what those recommendations may be.”

Matiza recently told a strategic planning workshop that the average contribution rate for private occupational pension schemes was 22,5% of an employee’s gross salary.

The minimum pension is currently $25.

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