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National Insurance Services maturing – PM Gonsalves

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The National Insurance Services (NIS) is maturing and converting from a grant based plan to a pension based plan.{{more}}

According to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves, this was evident in the declining statistics over the past two years, which showed that there was a relatively low pay out under the age grants.

Gonsalves was responding to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s question at Tuesday’s sitting of Parliament to state the percentage of contributors in 2010 and 2011 who have received a lump sum payment as distinct from a pension at age 60.

He indicated that age grants as a percentage of the total benefits paid out was 2.89 and 2.49 per cent in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

He further indicated that there was a decline in the value of age grants over the corresponding two-year period.

In 2010 the value was $887,120.22 however in 2011 the figure had decreased to $846,510.96 with 191 persons receiving lump sum payments in 2010 and 177 in 2011.

An insured person at the NIS becomes eligible for an age grant under two conditions including having at least 50 weeks contribution, but less than 500 and the amount is calculated based on average insurable earnings, Gonsalves explained. (DD)

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