PM Supports Increase In Retirement Age For Public Officers


Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he agrees with calls for the retirement age in the public service to be increased.

Currently, public servants must retire at the age of 60.

However, with the increase in the Social Security pension age steadily moving upwards, there are calls for public officers to stay in the service longer.

“We have discussed it and we asked Inland Revenue to consult further and to advise us,” Browne said.

“We don’t want to do it without any consultations, we have to speak to the unions as well and get their concurrence, then we will make the adjustment.

“But I agree with you that the age of retirement now should coincide with the Social Security retirement age.”

The Social Security retirement age moved from 60 to 62 this year. It will increase to 63 in 2021 and 65 by the year 2025.

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  1. Speaking as one of pensioner’s age I am glad I am self employed. Cause I have many more years of productivity to offer. Actually I do not see myself retiring. retirement should be a voluntary thing coupled of course with one’s health. Both Physical and Mental health.

  2. The social security retirement age should be increased to 68 now, not later. People are living much longer than before we simply cannot afford these luxury 20 year retirement time periods.

    I support the PM on this initiatives, but I really support he idea of increasing the retirement age for social security or retirement benefits. We don’t have enough young people to support all these old retired people in Antigua.

  3. When elderly persons become non-productive citizens against their will, they deteriorate at a faster rate.Some people look forward to their retirement, but others are scared for that day. They do not know what to suddenly do with all the free time. And Antigua has not much they can do. I look at my neigbour. He tries to keep himself fit by mowing his lawn almost every day. Morning and afternoon. Then he just drives around the place. Go in to town and have lunch and watch the tourist. All his children have migrated. Some to the USA some to Canada. His wife has left him sometime ago now for a younger man. He would wish he had something productive to do with his time. Than another friend of mine who used to be the manager of the bank, just relaxes and also spend all his time in his garden, while his wife is still actively busy doing her baking. If we do not do something to guide pensioners we are losing lots of knowledge that these people have. I urge government to set up programs to ensure especially retired professionals still can make meaningful contribution on a voluntary basis to the country. Canada has a very good program that they even export these pensioners to assist underdeveloped countries. The very reason why the PM kept Sir Lester Bird on as an advisory in his Cabinet. He still has a lot to contribute albeit not on a full time basis.

  4. This is a bunch of crap. Social security is a rip off. It’s not sustainable. People are having fewer and fewer children. The need for more money will always be there.

    Govt need to review the social security act. To make it a viable entity.
    Why must one spend their early years in school. Student loan to pay off and work till they die. When shall a man rest? When shall the poor man get to save for that cruise.

    Retirement should indeed be voluntary. But my God for those who want to retire at 60 and collect benefits at 60. It should be a constitutional right of life.

    • Only in Socialist countries benefits like Social Security are an entitlement. All for one and One for ALL. Although the USA hates everything that has to do with socialism such as we can see at their healthcare system or food stamp and social security they are very much dependent on them. They introduced the 401K plan to have people take responsibility for their own life but that also is not working too well. Because many have lost all their fortune on the stock markets from time to time. I personally have appreciation for both systems when it comes to retirement. Where the state takes the responsibility to provide and makes it mandatory that the citizens contribute to the program, I think that works fine for the less fortunate that cannot safe and actually lives from paycheck to paycheck. Manyof us when we are young really do not take life serious to plan our retirement. This is very sad because we see the consequences of this later in life. People become a burden to the society and because of our so called Christian and moral upbringing we do care for them. As a Rotarian that is something I live for everyday. However those that are fortunate enough to put money aside can determine their wealth on retirement. I envy retired people from those countries where the retirement savings has provided for them in such a way that they now can enjoy their latter years, without worries about the finances. Had I stayed overseas I would have been one of them. Many Antiguans and Barbudans who have lived overseas and are now pensioners are now enjoying the best of both worlds. If there is one thing I would love to see the PM do for this country is to setup a pension plan that really takes care of this problem. It will not be easy, because just like the education levy people do not like to contribute when they do not need to and when they cannot see the benefit right away. But there are too many program all over the world that we can study. The Social Security Pension Benefits just does not cut it. I cannot understand how some one can live on a $450 a month pension. And yes some may get as much as $2500.00. Hope they finish paying their mortgage if they have one. You should not drop more then 15% in your first pension year of your last earned salary. Our elderly are really made to become paupers with the absent of a good pension plan. And when do one start putting monies aside for their pension. I would suggest we have two separate funds. one Pension Fund and one Social Security Fund. The pension fund should be strictly use as an individual investment and savings fund. Where we can get a statement of our account and there is a minimum and no maximum based on our individual targets. Cause I may want to retire at age 60 and another at age 65. And what I may live 20 years there after or less and and I can will out my Pension Payments to my next in kind. I presently have my own plan and I have reach my retirement age but I am not yet willing to take it out because I still have my business and I work and make money. But it is in my will what needs to happen with it. Meanwhile it is accumulating interest. The only thing important in life is that you can live a healthy one. Cause no matter how much money you have you cannot buy health. You can pay for the medical bills yes.

    • I quite agree. Why should we be supporting them. They paid in their money years before their retirements . When Government does not pay in a dime, so it is we the people in the private sector that are paying. God forbit when we reach pension age, social Security will be no more.

      • Unless you can imagine a situation where ‘government is no more’ than you can say ‘social security will be no more’. Cause they remain responsible for Social Security no matter what.

      • It’s foolish to say that because governments did not pay in workers’ contributions that they should not benefit. The monies were deducted to be paid in and, its governments that all of you voted in that oversaw its mismanagement. It is reported that at one time, So Sec had half a billion in surplus but then government started borrowing/taking out the money; ‘financial experts’ started looking at how the monies could be invested, ultimately wasting it on houses and failed investments etc. All the while, the people who contributed were never consulted.

        At the start of this scheme, there were persons who wanted to opt out and provide their own retirement initiatives. The govern refused and mandated that all must pay in. So let’s place the blame squarely where it ought to be; it’s the government(s).

        Another thing, let’s dispel this notion that the change is sought because people are living longer or not enough new people are coming in to the scheme. We have had an open-door immigration policy since the late 90s that has seen our population almost doubled in the same time. Don’t they contribute into the scheme? If not, why did we allow them in? Has any study been done to see what is their effect on the So Sec. Did government ever pay back that 2 million that was taken for relief after Hurricane Luis in 1995?? What is the extent of governments ‘raidings’ over the years?

        Another piece of foolish that is happening is that government is maintaining its 60 year retirement age while So Sec is moving its to 65! So for persons who retire from this year-2019, they will be going home then wait another 5 years to get any So Sec relief for which they have already contributed all of their life! This is plain ridiculous since those persons would have already retired and will not be contributing to the scheme; what will they be waiting for? Perhaps to be frustrated and die so that So Sec would not have to pay them anything.

        The thing is, this could have been done properly. All that was needed was for them to say that from a particular date, anyone who comes into the system will retire at 65. Those already working will be given an option to stay or wait until then. Government retirement will also work the same way. Not to mention that if government will not pay in people’s money, stop taking it out and let them seek a retirement scheme for themselves.

        Can you imagine a permanent secretary person who turned 60 in this government service this year? He/she will find out that he/she will be earning less than any of his/her subordinates that retired as late as December 2018, since all he/she will get is 1/5 of salary.
        Poor Us!

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