COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND IN NO WAY AFFECTS STABILITY OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY FUND

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SENIOR MINISTER AND MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY, HON. VANCE AMORY

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 07, 2020 (SKNIS): The $15 million earmarked by the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board to facilitate the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund will not impact the stability of the Social Security Fund.

Senior Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Honourable Vance Amory, shared the information with the public on Tuesday (March 05, 2020) during the Leadership Matters Virtual Forum Series.

He noted that the money is being taken from a special reserve in the Social Security Fund. This special reserve is not taken from, nor does it in any way, diminish the monies collected from contributions. The monies collected from contributions are used to support the various types of benefits to individuals including employment injury, maternity, sickness, death, disability, retirement and others.

Senior Minister Amory stated that the Social Security Fund is in a very strong position.

Excerpts from the 12th Actuarial Review of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Fund as of December 31, 2017, reported that there were over $1.5 billion in reserves. Antonio Maynard, Director of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, noted that since then, the Social Security Fund continues to grow.

Based on a recent unaudited statement, Mr Maynard said that the Social Security Fund has increased to more than $1.6 billion in reserves.

Senior Minister Amory credited the leadership of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board for responding to the government’s request to provide relief to persons whose income was negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund provides up to $1,000 to qualifying residents who lost their jobs or are on reduced hours and earning less than $1,000 per month. Self-employed persons registered with social security as well as individuals made redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have also benefited from this assistance.

The income support covers the month of April, May and June, in the first instance.

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