Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 23, 2020 (SKNIS): Pensioners in St. Kitts and Nevis will see an increase in benefits this month when they collect their Social Security cheques.
During a sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, January 23, 2020, Senior Minister and Minister responsible for Social Security, the Honourable Vance Amory, indicated that the decision to raise pensions was made at a meeting of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board on December 12, 2019. The changes will take effect in late January 2020, and will be applied to age, invalidity, and survivor’s pensioners.
“Persons who became pensionable in 2015 or before [will] receive a five percent increase, while persons becoming pensionable in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 will see increases of four percent, three percent, two percent and one percent respectively and will be based on the year that the pensioner qualified for the pension,” Senior Minister Amory stated.
He added that “persons at the maximum pension as at December 31, 2019, will also receive the increase based on their year of qualification.”
There is a total of 4,375 persons receiving an age pension, 857 persons receiving a senior survivor pension, 356 persons receiving an invalidity pension, 56 persons receiving a disablement pension, 21 persons receiving a disablement pension survivor’s, and 2 persons receiving a constant care pension.
The increases will cost an extra $268,422 per month or $3.2 million per year. The annual payout from the Social Security Fund for 2020 will be $99,272,510 to persons receiving age, invalidity, and survivor’s pensions.
Senior Minister Amory expressed that the increase in pensions is testament to the strength of the Social Security Fund as outlined in the Report of the 12th Actuarial Review of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Fund as of December 31, 2017.
Honourable Amory stated that the government is committed to ensuring that persons who receive pensions or benefits can keep abreast of changes in the cost of living.