Progressing Beyond 40, Resolving To Reach All (1st February 1978 – 1st February 2018)

The month of February is a time when all who are connected to Social Security pause to reflect on the genesis of our income insurance facility: The Social Security Fund. It was on 1st February 1978 that the Fund was started coming on the heels of its predecessor the National Provident Fund.

We are celebrating our 40th anniversary under the theme: Progessing Beyond 40, Resolving To Reach All.

At the time of inception, the staff complement at our offices was twenty-eight (28) in number; and today stands at 116 to serve both islands.
Some of the developments over time include the following:

  • Funeral Grant has increased from time to time from a low $200 to its present level of $2,500 with varying amounts for other dependents
  • Assistance Pension has increased from $30 per month  to its current level of $250 per month
  • The ceiling on insurable earnings has risen from $2,000 per month to $6,500 per month
  • The rate of sickness benefit and maternity allowance increased from 50% to 60% and later to 65% of average weekly wages
  • Maternity Grant has increased from $50 per child to $450 per child
  • Employment Injury Coverage was introduced in 1986
  • Self Employed Coverage was introduced in 1996
  • Reciprocal Agreements have been entered into with Canada and CARICOM
At the time of inception, the staff complement at our offices was twenty-eight (28) in number; and today stands at 116 to serve both islands.”
The Fund has grown to be a formidable force and a source of national savings while fulfilling its primary purposes. In so doing, it has provided strong development support for the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis in a wide range of areas including education, health, housing and socio-cultural development. This has been at the center of its corporate social responsibility outlook over the years.

With incredible growth comes incredible responsibility. The Social Security Fund is now 40 years old and strategies will need to be employed to re-calibrate its ability to meet the demands of future generations of beneficiaries. This takes into account that the various parameters that were in place to  establish the Fund and to ensure its viability for close to its fourth decade will need to be adjusted to cater to the challenges that will be presented by all of the relevant developments of the next few decades. We will begin our reform discussions and Town Hall meetings during the month of March.

The Board encourages all to be mindful of this reality and to be prepared to offer any useful suggestions and to be open to any  adjustments which may be required. We remain committed to the longevity of the Fund and the continuing social justice, which we strive to provide.

Having come full circle in terms of the span of its impact on the society, the Fund can boast that it has truly been all things to all people from the cradle to the grave. It can also proudly bear testimony to its role in being a strong economic pillar in support of the needs and aspirations of all its stakeholders: government, employers and insured persons.

Our celebrations will span from February to October and will include, Corporate Worship, Pensioner’s Day, Primary School Quiz, Caricom Heads of Social Security Meeting, Launch of 40th Anniversary Magazine, just to name a few. We look forward to celebrating with all our stakeholders as we aim to process beyond 40, resolving to reach all.

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