NIS Trouble in 1999

 

Back in 1999, an actuarial report came out saying that the Barbados National Insurance Scheme was headed for trouble. (Source: SOC/FAS Actuarial and Advisory Services: Barbados - Tenth actuarial review of the National Insurance Scheme as of 31 December 1999 and Supplement (PDF 74 KB); ILO, Geneva 2001; ILO/TF/Barbados/R.11; ISBN 92-2-112650-1)

The above actuarial report stated that the fund would be paying out more than it is taking in at the beginning of 2011! This is about 17 months away.

Hopefully this crisis was resolved. In 2001, Prime Minister Owen Arthur proposed some changes (pdf file) to bring stability back to the system.

There is Pension Reform tab on the NIS site. The material there appears to have been written in 2002:

Our National Insurance Pension Fund is secure. But Barbadians are having fewer children and living longer. So in years to come there will be an imbalance between pensioners who draw on the fund and workers who support it.

In 2005, this document (pdf file)  states that “income from contributions is estimated at $338.7 million“, while “Benefit expenditure is projected at $299.9 million“. If at this time contributions had dropped by 11% or expenditures had increased by 13%, expenditures would have exceeded contributions. Was the NIS sound under the BLP?

Now, in 2009, the new leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Mia Mottley, is asking serious questions.

 

Mia Mottley Expresses Concern About NIS Funds Held by CLICO

 

This from the BLP Blog: “ Can not hear you PM” - February 22, 2009

Will the Prime Minister state whether any funds, owned by the National Insurance Scheme of Barbados, are held by Clico or any of its related companies or subsidiaries? And if so, how much at January 15, 2008 and how much today at February 15, 2009?

A reliable source told me that there is documentation regarding loans made by the Barbados NIS to CLICO. I think it was in the CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited File. CLICO (or members of the CLICO family) borrows millions from the Barbados NIS. Are these multi-million dollar loans good? Will this affect the solvency of the fund? The message on the CLICO Holdings website (clicoholdings.com)  is not at all reassuring:

CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited website

Check the Corporate Registry (CAIPO) for CLICO HOLDINGS (BARBADOS) LIMITED. It was registered in 1984-04-18 with company number 414. A search for CLICO at the registry yields 14 names. Yes there are 14 different CLICOs registered in Barbados, so ask for company number 414!

 

Guyana Trade Unions Concerned About Job Loss from CLICO - NIS “Debacle”

 

Kaiteur News - April 29, 2009: CLICO (Guyana), NIS debacle to feature at FITUG May Day rally

General Secretary of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) Carvil Duncan, yesterday, outlined plans for the annual May Day rally. He said that this year the debacle surrounding Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana and the National Insurance Scheme will be a priority that will be thoroughly addressed. He noted that very shortly persons will be retrenched in various areas and some may have to consider salary cuts in order to preserve their jobs.

Could Barbados be facing its own ” debacle” surrounding CLICO and the National Insurance Scheme? Should the Bajan trade unions also be asking questions? And, by the way, why did the Government have to call it a “Scheme“?