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Retirement age in perspective

Reverend H. Malcolm Gibbs-Taitt

Retirement age in perspective

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IT IS MY OPINION that it would be wrong to have a protracted discussion on the right or wrong of the BIDC/NUPW debacle without taking into serious consideration the cause(s) and effect(s).

The cause, preceding why the 2004 Pension Act came into effect, was the actuaries spelling out to the Government of the day that if there were no changes to the then pensions regime, where women retired at attaining age 60 and men retired on attaining 65, the Pension Fund would not be able to continue after 2026.

The effect of the changes meant that the then pension ages were scrapped and were unified in 2005 for all persons, whether men or women, to take effect at ages 65.5 years, 66 years, 66.5 years (at present) and 67 years in 2016/8. At that time, there was talk of the pension age going to age 70 years of age; we are not hearing anything more of the age 70 situation.

It would not make any sense for changes to be implemented and leave out some sections of the working class. This would not meet with the changes demanded by the actuaries, who informed Government.

Reverend H. Malcolm Gibbs-Taitt, Director general, Barbados Consumers Research Organisation, Inc.