NIS in better financial health says PM
May 31, 2024

NIS in better financial health says PM

The National Insurance Service of St Vincent and the Grenadines seems to be in a much more sustainable situation now that it has instituted some measures of pension reform said Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday May 27, 2024, the Prime Minister said as far as the NIS is concerned, “things are looking up.”

He came to this conclusion based on the published NIS first quarter report for this year.

The report, dated May 13, 2024, is a review of the NIS’ performance for the first three months of this year.

The report noted that the three main pillars on which the NIS is moving forward are: financial sustainability; operational resilience; and public confidence.

As of March 31, 2024, the NIS saw positive financial and non-financial outcome in its operation.

The Prime Minister outlined that from a financial perspective, the NIS recorded “a robust performance” in certain critical areas.

These include an increase in the collection of contributions of $17.2 million, from $16.1 in the same period last year.

There was also an increase in the NIS’s investment return, from $4.9 million last year to $8.7 million this year.

As well, there was an crease in cash flow from operations in the first quarter of 2024.

This figure went up to $1.3 million from a negative figure of $-1.2 million.

The executive summary concludes that the NIS’ “strong first quarter performance was underpinned by the local economic growth and labour market developments, including national employment and wage increases across sectors”.

In relation to employment, Dr Gonsalves stated that there were 529 new registrants at the NIS for the first quarter of 2024.

“These are new people getting jobs,” he pointed out, adding that more people got jobs, but all of them did not register with the NIS.

This figure compares to 472 new registrants for the same period last year.

Last year, the NIS mounted a public campaign sensitizing Vincentians about the need for pension reform, as it was in an unsustainable position.

In a SEARCHLIGHT Newspaper August, 8, 2023 article, Executive

Director of the NIS, Stewart Haynes had admitted that the NIS was facing challenges, and he also promoted the need for pension reform.

Pension reform measures relating to the NIS were announced by Finance Minister, Camillo Gonsalves in his 2024 National Budget address on January 8, 2024.

One of the main areas of pension reform in St Vincent and the Grenadines is a gradual increase in the contribution rate from both employers and employees.

This reform measure takes place from June 1 this year, when the contribution rate will increase to 12% ( employee contribution 5.5% and employer 6.5%), and continue increasing, until it reaches 15% by the year 2030.