The Jamaica government says it will provide J$250 million for the start-up of the highly anticipated Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme, in January next year.
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said the funds will form part of the government’s effort to seed the scheme, to meet the deadline of a January 2020 start-up date.
“We are well on our way to implementing the pension scheme and, currently, the Board of Trustees is in the process of procuring a fund manager and fund administrator,” Bartlett said, noting that as soon as the fund manager is appointed, the J$250 million will be disbursed “to seed the fund, so that if workers have contributed for only five years and reach their retirement age of 65, they will get a guaranteed minimum pension”.
The Ministry of Tourism has been carrying out pension sensitization sessions, across the island, to update tourism workers on the next steps of the pension scheme.
The Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is designed to cover all workers, ages 18-59, in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contract or self-employed. This includes hotel workers, as well as persons employed in other tourism subsectors, such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.
“This landmark Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is a carefully strategized arrangement that forms part of the Ministry’s overall human capital development strategy in the sector. The pension scheme is the final cap in that strategy, to ensure a social security safety net for our workers at retirement,” Bartlett added.