25 September 2023

BAHAMAS: PS pension plan denied

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Media Secretary for the Government of the Bahamas, Anthony Newbold (pictured) has poured cold water on suggestions that the public sector, comprising 20,000 or so employees, could be persuaded to contribute to their pensions.

Mr Newbold was speaking to concerns that the country’s pension liability problem was a “ticking time bomb”.

He rejected social media claims that the Government planned to halt Public Service pension payments.

“In fact, the Government has released a request for proposals for consultants to provide a pension feasibility study as the Government moves to implement a contributory pension scheme for new public sector hires,” Mr Newbold said.

“The Prime Minister has said that the pension bill is unsustainable, so you get new hires to accept that they must contribute to their own pension scheme.”

Reminded that employees in the private sector contributed to their own schemes without complaint, Mr Newbold said there was no way existing public sector staff would contribute to a scheme and attempts to force them to do so could bring the country to a halt.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Government’s pension liabilities will rise to A$5 billion by 2030 as the population ages.

The IMF called for reforms that involved a contributory public sector regime in the near term, replacing the current one financed 100 per cent by taxpayers.

However, Prime Minister, Hubert Minnis said in June the realistic alternative in this area would be new hires contributing to a mandatory pension program, although he did not say when this would begin.

Nassau, 8 November 2018

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