NIS given new name
August 13, 2004
NIS given new name

In a move designed to better reflect all the provisions offered by the institution, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has been officially renamed the “National Insurance Services”.
The name change was announced Wednesday at a Pensioners’ Appreciation Day and Launching of NIS Name Change function attended by pensioners held at the NIS headquarters.{{more}}
Delivering the keynote address at the activity, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves explained the change since the word “scheme” is associated in the Caribbean with unsavoury terms such as trickery and fraud. He referred to Richard Allsop’s Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage that defines scheme as a dishonest dealing.
After unveiling the new name at the ceremony, the Prime Minister encouraged the management to continue its work within the mandate. “I want the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to know that NIS is in good hands.”
He also disclosed that pensions for 2003 paid
by the NIS amounted
to $12.9 million with
over 3,900 pensioners benefiting from the institution.
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to refute claims that he has been involved in the handling of the NIS finances, making it clear that his only involvement with the institution has to do with its policy.
Also addressing the function, Lennox Bowman, chairman of the NIS Board of Directors, stated that the NIS had left no stone unturned to guarantee the widening of its operations.
As the NIS continues to play a pivotal role in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bowman said, it will educate Vincentians to make sure they understand what their benefits are.
Bowman added that the NIS has taken its services to market vendors as well as arrowroot farmers and is planning to target sailors. He noted that at present there are over 2000 sailors from St. Vincent and the Grenadines employed on the high seas.
High on the NIS’ agenda is the issue of tertiary education. Bowman said even if it comes to the point where some of the pensioners’ funds will have to be used for this purpose it will be done to give the younger generation the opportunity that their parents and foreparents did not have.
Across the Caribbean Bowman said the NIS has demonstrated its competence and is being held by other NIS’ in high esteem.
Also addressing the ninth Pensioners’ Appreciation Day was Reginald Thomas, the NIS executive director.
Thomas, commenting on the reason for changing the NIS name, said the National Insurance Scheme did not reflect in any way what the institution was doing. The name National Insurance Services was chosen simply because the institution is all about services. “We’re all about serving you.” Thomas said the NIS is honest, confidential and thrifty.
When an individual pays their NIS contribution of six per cent they are entitled to benefits such as maternity, sickness, age pension, invalidity, survivors, funeral grant, and employment injury.