Cash Flow Problems Affect Social Security Payments

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The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda says it has agreed to address the shortcomings of the Social Security Board.

This has been responsible for the late payments during the past month.

The government says raising enough capital for SSB payments to the elderly at the end of November and in December 2018, are priorities.

“This issue is being pursued vigorously,” a statement from Cabinet said.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said on radio moments ago that every year 30 million dollars from the CIP is pumped into Social Security.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This is a most dreadful and alarming situation. Many of us who have worked all our lives and contributed to Social Security will find little comfort in this story. What it means is that when we have retired and due Social Security benefit, there might be nothing there for us. Something is woefully wrong here and immediate corrective measures need to be taken to immediately address the many issues facing the Scheme. Over the years, government have borrowed monies from Social Security and I don’t know if such funds was ever repaid. Boards have also badly invested funds into buying properties that are just sitting idly there and not reaping any benefits.. I will have much more to say on this, but my heart aches now.

  2. This is disgusting to hear. Why CIP monies had to be used what happen to the mandatory contribution from the Government and private sectors and the employee. So what am I to understand that if the CIP monies were not there cheapo would have smoked pensioners pipe.. Government ( past and presant ) must pay in employees contributions when deducted by the Treasury and what they borrow from the Board must be paid back too. Just recently Social Security contributions were raised and the man in charge said SS could be in a better situation. Soon from now nothing will be there. Must Pensioners die in Antigua from stress? I paid my contributions from the inseption to 2011 so all you better find the money…..O LORD MAN

  3. So far, I made 36 years and counting of contributions into the Social Security Scheme. Are the scheme telling me if I live to see eight (8) more years, there will no monthly benefit for me??
    The Social Security invested in the former US Air Force Base facility in Coolidge and it is there been ruining my the ABDF like they did the former Naval Facility. The government should have lease that former US Air Force Base facility to AUA school of medicine whereas lease money would be pumping into the Treasury. AUA will be in a better position to keep up the maintenance of that facility because Social Security can’t maintain it.
    If Social Security can’t properly manage the contributions I made this far, it is better I stop makes contribution into it.

  4. I support PM Browne usually, but on this I have to say I am very concerned. Antigua CIP monies should be used for special projects and infrastructure, or things that really strongly benefit the nation. We should not be using CIP funds for basic government programs like Social Security.

    Antigua should shift to a retirement program like Singapore has, called the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Google it, because it is a great program and is very stable. It’s like having your very own savings account that the government can never take away. Antigua’s social security system is a disaster waiting to happen and I hope the government does a major reform of it soon.

    Lastly, if we are so desperate for CIP funds to make basic social security payments, then we should really ensure that Antigua’s CIP program is the best in the Caribbean. I have heard that many people in the world do not like Antigua’s CIP because it does not guarantee heredity right for newborn children to have citizenship. Instead, the government makes CIP citizens pay $25,000 for any newborn child they have – that is not fair. St. Kitts provides automatic hereditary citizenship (without any extra fees) for the newborn children of CIP citizens.

  5. If it is on one issue I am deeply disappointed with the Pm it is with Social Security. Rewind to 2014 the Director said there was an in balance because of the high unemployment created by the economic downturn and the fact that the Stanford Company had close-down shop. So all that was needed was for us to decrease the unemployment and to just raise the deductions a little. And after a few years the story changed that it is because more people became pensioners and people live longer so now we had more pensioners than contributors. So next we had to raise the pensionable age and we had to once again raise the deductions. As one can see the goal post kept moving. I have warned the PM on many occasions as the staff came to me for help. They see how the funds are being mismanaged. And the Director has always said, he has no sleepless night cause after all it is the government’s responsibility to deal with any shortfall of the funds. With that kind of attitude I would have released him long time from that position. At one time I though the PM was going to take the right steps when he announce to have Weston take a much closer look at the operation. The staff felt hopeful that something would finally happen. But nada. Nothing happened. Hint after hint I gave the PM. The building they were in had to be abandoned and what they did was wasting more money buy spreading over two locations. And the leases are not low. They make sure they go into very nice properties and get new furniture and make expensive leasehold improvements. The abandoned building had to be gutted at an astronomical amount. meanwhile the Social Security owns lots of derelict buildings. While at the same time management is living the life and given themselves salary increases. And do not forget the amount of per diem management gets paid for attending seminars you wonder why they have to attend. And that while pensioners cannot get paid. But not once have we heard that management and staff didn’t get paid. Or got paid late. Oh No. They are getting paid every month ON TIME. Social Security has no Cash Flow issue. They have a spending issue. And unless the PM addresses this he will always be funding the fund. Because management is out of control when it comes to that. And the board. Oh yes the weak and useless board that always gives the PM a 6 for a 9 doesn’t have the balls to do the right thing. Its all about getting paid their board fees and whatever other perks that comes along with it. What have they contributed to the solution of this shortfall. Not a thing. Do they even understand the figures presented to them on a monthly basis. What analysis have they done. Have they done a white paper to show where the Funds is going for the next five to ten years. And how to fund this. I mean if the PM thinks he can just dip his hands in a pot of money each time, well than there is no shortfall at all. Mr. PM I am disappointed in your attitude in this case. Money doesn’t come easy and you know it. Therefore I expected you to be more on the ball when things simply do not add up. I am use to go into organizations and turn over every rock. I will let them justify every line item of the budget in spending. And what they cannot justify I will slash it. There are serious time and need to have serious measure. take their authority to spend money away. Put someone in charge above them who they have to answer to when it comes to spending anything above a certain amount. Until you get a grip on where the hell the money is going. You will see when you implement drastic measures like that how things will change fast. They will then understand that barley doesn’t grow on trees. PM do the right thing. Deal with Social Security. They are wasting your hard earned money. And the people who suffers are the pensioners. They should get paid first. What is left over should cover payroll and operating expenses. I will not address other things but this is just a snapshot again. Looking forward to some drastic action. And Drastic father is not taking the drastic actions.

    • Mr PM we the pensioners and upcoming ones are depending on you to look into the Social Security spending
      Do you want pensioners to flock you office and be you money? I am one of those persons who do NOT peg Positions anything. They get a job, well do it. If the man uncharged of SS said “he has no sleepless nights” what does that say people, he does not care. His late father was such a gentleman but he, he too pumpes. I had to work with him when he was at Min of Finance and oh….. He should be replaced. It is true that the SSS has a lot of abandoned buildings around filled with termite and cannot bring in monies. Why the former Boards purchased them, they had plenty money so they wasted and now people like me suffering. I don’t know if I will be able to buy a ham (I don’t want any from positions. although I never got,) 0this year because I don’t know when SS will give me my pension and APUA utilities have tripled so what I would buy the ham with will be going to APUA. Some of us in Antigua/Barbuda n3d help. We aren’t on no boards like some 75 year old labour rights that can hardly walk sitting on although we are younger, stronger and more intelligent but not playing politics. We might have to break up China wears and make Chine money and sweet paper as when I was a child in the fifties playing Dolly house. Will not be able to enjoy the two weekends ABST 10 percent off. No backpack yet, no SS pension. HELP NEEDED Mr PM

    • The Director has no sleepless nights because he knows where a lot of the money went. The ABLP government has been using social security and medical benefits for years as a piggy bank. A family friend of of mine who was one of the founding members of the board of social security when it was set up PLM was dismissed when the Labour Party took power because he objected to the government using social security funds. The question that should be asked is how much the government owes social security and medical benefits for civil servants contributions and the funds they borrowed. Isn’t the PM the Minister for social security? When he tells them to write a cheque to the government can they say no?
      This government has pillage every government board that generate money and then when these boards can’t meet their obligations, the government complains they have to pump money into them.

  6. All they are good for is to borrow and steal then leave I.O.U while they run to their personal bank accounts laughing.

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