The Tourism Worker’s Pension Scheme is closer to becoming reality following the passage of the bill by the House of Representatives yesterday (June 25).
The Tourism Workers Pension Bill, which seeks to establish a defined contribution pension scheme for hospitality industry workers, was passed with 11 amendments.
From the scheme, retirement benefits will be paid in respect of each member and ancillary benefits for beneficiaries.
The new pension scheme will start with an endowment of one billion dollars from the Ministry of Tourism, which will be paid in installments and will ensure that immediate benefits accrue to qualified pensioners who have met the vested period of five years.
In closing the debate on the bill Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the scheme will be the largest single pension plan in Jamaica and, arguably, the Caribbean, and a landmark development for the country’s workforce.
He further noted that it represents the administration’s commitment to the social market arrangement, which aims to ensure that the appropriate legislation and regulations are developed to protect the vulnerable.
The legislation will be sent to the Senate next to be passed, then to the Governor General for assent, and should come into effect by an appointed day notice made by the minister and published in the gazette.
The pension scheme will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers, with benefits payable at age 65 years or older.