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Pensioners’ Appreciation Day 2005

The National Insurance Services continues to provide a safety net for the general populace of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Diaspora.

In addition to the financial services being provided by the NIS, we continue to play a major role in the lives of our many pensioners. This is done through an annual event called Pensioners’ Appreciation Day.{{more}}

Pensioners’ Appreciation Day 2005, was held on October 10th, at our office, Main Administrative Building, Kingstown.

The Prime Minister and other Government officials, members of the NIS Board and the general public gathered at the office to celebrate with our senior citizens.

The Ceremony commenced in a formal manner with staff member Winston Edwards undertaking the task of MC while the gathering was addressed by member of the Board – Mr. Lloyd Small, Chairman of the Board – Mr. Lennox Bowman and Executive Director – Mr. Reginald Thomas.The key note address was delivered by Minister of Finance and Prime Minister – Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves.

Dr. Gonsalves, in his presentation, outlined the different areas of increases which were approved by Cabinet.

“Many pensioners will see an increase in their next fortnight payment and will also receive retroactive payments from July 2005 (effective date for the increase),” the PM indicated. The benefit increases as indicated by the PM are as follows:

Adjustment of Pensions

Pensions that were awarded prior to January 1, 2005 are to be increased 3% for every year (or part thereof) from the 31st December, 2002 or the date of the award, whichever is the later, maximum increase of 6.0%. The increase in pensions is to be paid for weeks after June 30, 2005.

Increase NAAP amount and minimum pension

• Increase the weekly Non-Contributory Assistance Age Pension to $30 from $25 regarding payments for weeks after June 30, 2005.

• Increase the weekly minimum pension to $60 from $55 regarding payments for weeks after June 30, 2005

Increases of Grants

All of the following increases to be effective July 1, 2005

• Increase the maternity grant to $550 from $500

• Increase the funeral grant to $3,800 from $3,600 and for the spouse, increase the funeral grant to $1,900 from $1,800. Similar increases are to be given to the dependent children, ranging from $1,900 for children 10 years and older to $380 for children under 3 years of age.

Increase the NAAP funeral grant to $1,900 from $1,800 and for the spouse, increase the grant to $950 from $900. Similar increases are to be given to the dependent children ranging from $950 for children 10 years and older to $250 for children under 3 years of age.

• Increase the Employment Injury funeral grant to $3,800 from $3,000 for the insured.

In addition to the increase in benefits, effective January 1st, 2007 the contribution ceiling will also see an upward movement. The ceiling cap will move from $3,770.00 monthly to $4,333.00 or $870.00 weekly to $1,000.00.

The pensioners were also honoured by the Prime Minister with cheques and tokens from the National Insurances Services.

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