J$250 Million to start Tourism Workers’ Pension Fund in January

J$250 Million to start Tourism Workers’ Pension Fund in January, says Bartlett
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, addressing hotel workers in Negril at a pension sensitization session.

NEGRIL, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett says J$250 Million will be used to ensure the start of the highly anticipated Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme next month.

This forms part of the government’s effort to seed the fund to meet the deadline of a January 2020 start date for the pension scheme.

Minister Bartlett, who made the announcement at a pension sensitization session with hotel workers at Royalton Negril today, said “We are well on our way to implementing the pension scheme and currently the Board of Trustees is in the process of procuring a Fund Manager and Fund Administrator.

As soon as the Fund Manager has been appointed, 250 million will be disbursed to seed the fund so that if workers have contributed for only 5 years and reach their retirement age of 65 they will get a guaranteed minimum pension.”

The Ministry of Tourism has been carrying out pension sensitization sessions across the island to update tourism workers on the next steps of the pension scheme. Over 400 workers attended the session at the Royalton Hotel and approximately 100 workers attended the session at the RIU Hotel, both in Negril.

The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is designed to cover all workers ages 18-59 year in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contract or self-employed. This includes hotel workers as well as persons employed in other tourism sub-sectors such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.

A section of the over 400 workers at the Royalton Hotel in Negril during the pension sensitization session.

In highlighting the significance of the pension scheme, Minister Bartlett added that, “This landmark Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is a carefully strategized arrangement that forms part of the Ministry’s overall human capital development strategy in the sector. The pension scheme is the final cap in that strategy to ensure a social security safety net for our workers at retirement.”

Registration for Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is scheduled to begin in January 2020.

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