Charlestown, Nevis – Non-Established (NE) workers within the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) have so far received near two million dollars in gratuity payments as part of their retirement package.
This is according to Minister of Finance and Human Resources in the NIA the Honourable Premier Mark Brantley.
“We have introduced the Non-Established Pension Scheme for Non-Established workers and I’m pleased to announce that so far some 26 persons have received payment- in pension $154,882.81, and in terms of gratuity $1,900,864.94,” he disclosed during his monthly press conference on Tuesday, January 30.
He explained that since the NE Workers Retirement Scheme was established the government has begun asking persons attaining the age of 62 years to proceed to retirement, knowing they will be eligible to get their Social Security payments, and for those who have worked for government in any position for ten years or more, “they will get gratuity plus they will get a monthly amount by way of pension”.
“I would want to say to those who are moving on into retirement that you’re not moving on empty-handed. It is important for me to say that because I recognize that there has been some anxiety being expressed by some- “they don’t want to retire, how are they going to live”- and our simple explanation is you’re not leaving empty-handed like before.
“Before we introduced this scheme when you left government as an NE worker, you left with [nothing]. We have changed that, so you’re now leaving with something and you’re going to get something every month through the mechanism that we have created here in Nevis.”
Mr. Brantley pointed out that the newly operationalized Government Auxiliary Employees pension scheme on St. Kitts is contributory, that is, monies are deducted from employees’ pay, whereas the NE Workers Pension Scheme on Nevis is fully funded by the NIA without any deductions from workers’ wages and salaries.
“In Nevis, we are still operating a non-contributory scheme. Put differently, no money is coming out of your pay but we are making provision for you to get a pension,” the Premier stated.
The retirement scheme will benefit more than 400 workers in Nevis’ public service.
Premier Brantley noted that for 2024 the government will continue to fund the NE Pension scheme, however assessments will be done to determine if and when a contributory scheme would be introduced.