The New Today


NIS – the ticking time bomb

Is the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) offering enough umbrella protection as it relates to our social funds?

What’s the outcome of our national Security Fund and is “NIS a ticking time bomb that’s about to explode” because if the necessary measures aren’t taken to save the scheme we could be in serious trouble.

I’m highly of the opinion that our social security funds is at risk because the scheme is facing depletion of funds and yet nothing is being done to save it or either remedy the problem.

I don’t want to describe it as “MISMANAGEMENT” but it’s mainly due to political interference from those in governance, who have been using the working class social funds as government personal piggy bank.

The last actuarial review that was done by Mr. Georges Langis (Actuary) and he had made a number of recommendations but the NIS Board of Directors & government failed to adhere and make the necessary changes before it is too late.

If the retirement age has to be increased to (65) years as recommended by the actuarial review, incrementally over a five year period then “it should be done immediately” before the institution collapses.

There has been scaling reviews that 2035 is the year, when most social security funds will go bankrupt unless changes are made to how the system is funded.

I totally agree that the demographics are changing rapidly and there’s a number of contributing factors one being low birth rate, an aging population and with a workforce of over 40,000 strong, I might be subjected to correction as it relates to workforce but I believe it might have dwindled by a few thousands.

However, the workforce has somewhat declined drastically, with the Covid-19 pandemic, a huge portion of the working class have been on the breadline receiving employment benefits – therefore that meant there’s great shortfalls in revenues at the institution and even long before the pandemic hit, NIS did put out statements about collecting less and paying out more.

But what have they done about it? Basically nothing – all they’re doing is playing for time and a number of consultations were held and we the people got no feedback.

What we have here is a grave situation on our hands that require men and women with visions and foresight – who will be better able to save the future of our social security funds. This situation is far more than human than the mind can imagine and yet NIS is being naïve about it with Shilly shally behaviour.

I don’t understand why the slow response by NIS and the government in implementing or making the necessary changes or recommendations that’s needed – so that the Institution can be viable and be more economically sound.

I’m a young man in the prime of my life and maybe in the next twenty three years thereof, I might be facing retirement. I have made tremendous contributions towards the scheme and I’m looking forward towards my NIS pension.

It would rather be unfair to me likewise the many others who’ve contributed and upon retirement not receiving a full pension.

Is NIS a statutory body or is it a Chinese chess board game being manipulated by government?

When pandemic struck in March of 2020, the financial impact was felt in almost all sectors of our economy and many workers were on the breadline.

In an address to the nation, the Prime Minister did announce that “NIS would pay out (10 million in unemployment benefits).”

I know the Prime Minister is and was aware that NIS isn’t and wasn’t mandated by law to pay out unemployment benefits.

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I was of the view that those monies were part of the stimulus package but it wasn’t.

How could the NIS Board of Directors allow themselves to be manipulated like this?

What bothers me the most is that the monies came fixed assets.

My question to NIS is the following – is there a promissory note or some kind of legal documentation from government claiming that they would reimburse those funds?

NIS Board of Directors probably messed up big time, when they decided to substitute for government 50% of the total 75% state pension to Public Officers that was a very bad agreement. Plus the workers were shortchanged and given 70% now – that’s what I called robbery in broad daylight.

Who among us is minding our nation’s business? So many things are being undermined and no one is paying attention or taking notice of what’s happening around them.

There are so many unanswered questions from those who should be looking after our best interest likewise the economic, social and holistic development of our people.

But they’ve failed us in so many ways and the question we have to ask ourselves is why?

Government over the years have taken advantage of our social security funds which left the working class (shortchanged) with an uncertain future.

Nobody talks about government haircuts. Nobody talks about the constant rollover of government bonds with NIS and every time that occurred the working class are the ones that’s being disenfranchised.

We have a generation coming up that will probably retire in object poverty like those that came before them and it’s all because of the government delinquency over the years.

The issue regarding contributions collected and expenditures from NIS is very troubling. If NIS is going to rely on surpluses or cash reserves in covering shortfalls in revenue collections then there’s a serious problem and it calls for immediate concerns.

If they continue to dig deeper into CASH FLOW there will be financial depletion taking place in next few years to come. I’m now wondering if, it hasn’t been happening already!

How reliable are these investments that NIS have made? Are they solely depending on FORCE OF INTEREST? What if the world economy should experience something like the 2008 economic meltdown and already many countries around the world are feeling the economic impact of Covid 19. Then it means monies invested will not produce anything (annualised cumulative return).

The stock market isn’t always reliable because of VOLATILITY.

The 2009 actuarial review states that operational deficit would continue to increase after 2029 and the reserve would be completely depleted by 2042. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, I question whether we will see much increases because NIS is already using up their reserves.

Our Social Security is in terrible danger and nothing isn’t going to clear the doubts and suspicions in my mind.

What if NIS cannot meet its financial obligations or enters bankruptcy and it’s always possible so let’s not dispute that because we were told by the Prime Minister in 2019 that NIS will go bankrupt in a few years if they do not increase retirement age likewise increase the contribution to NIS, per worker. I would hate to see it going under RECEIVERSHIP.

In conclusion I would like to ask the following questions: were the necessary amendments made to NIS legislation in saving it from bankruptcy? What was the outcome of the various consultations?

Brian J.M. Joseph