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NIS Celebrates 18 years The NPF – The Prelude to NIS

NIS Celebrates 18 years      The NPF – The Prelude to NIS

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The National Provident Fund laid the foundation for the National Insurance Scheme. It was designed to provide some form of social security to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was established in 1970 by Act 1 of 1970. {{more}} The first Director was Mr. Claude Samuel. The succeeding directors were Basil Coombs, Alison Lewis, Frederick Providence and Hugh Dougan. The benefits structure consisted of Old Age Pension, Death Benefit to the named beneficiary, and Permanent Incapacitation Benefit. The NPF benefit was paid in a lump sum based on accumulated contributions with interest. The total contribution rate was 10%.

The benefits provided by National Provident Fund were limited and inadequate. As a result, in 1982 it was recommended that the NPF be replaced by a comprehensive social insurance scheme to provide protection for all employed persons. The NPF Act was repealed and replaced by the NIS Act #33 of 1986.

1987 – The National Insurance Scheme became operational on 5th January 1987.

The staff complement was 24 workers.

Six benefits were introduced at the inception: – Sickness, Maternity, Funeral Grant, Age, Invalidity and Survivors’.

Six months after inception, the first sickness benefit was paid to Charles Albert Joseph. Four weeks after, the first maternity benefit was paid. The Maternity Grant was $50 and the Funeral Grant was $500.

The Maximum Insurable Earnings – $1670 per month or $385 per week.

Total Contribution rate – 5.5%

Employee’s 2.5%, Employer’s 3%.

There were 784 registered employers and 15,361 registered employees.

Total benefits payments amounted to $80,000.

The Scheme’s financial position:

Total Assets amounted to $57 million, Net Income – $7.7 million and Total Reserves – $57 million.

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