The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says it is suspending implementation of the increases in pension benefits and contributions that were due to come into effect this month.
In a statement, the authority said implementation of the increases had been suspended while further consultations were undertaken.
A NSSA spokesperson said the pension payroll had already been prepared before the decision to suspend the increases was reached.
As a result, read the statement, pensioners would this month, receive their January pensions at the new rates, but these pensions would revert to the old rates in February, unless a decision to lift the suspension was reached before then.
“Employers who had already prepared their payrolls and remitted contributions to NSSA at the new rate that has now been suspended would have the difference between the new contribution and the old contribution credited to their account with NSSA,” said the spokesperson.
The joint employer and employee contribution was due to go up from 6% of an employee’s salary (up to a maximum wage level of $200 per month) to 8% of the employee’s salary (up to a maximum monthly income of $1 000).
These increases would have meant that new pensioners who had contributed to the pension scheme for 17 years would have received a pension equivalent to 22,6% of their salary on retirement, up to a monthly salary level of $1 000.
Suspension of the increases means the maximum pension they will be able to receive will be 22,6% of $200.
The minimum retirement pension, which had been increased to $60 per month, now reverts from next month to $40 per month.