Editor: The social security scheme was set up locally as a safety net as an insurance against abject poverty. However, everything seems to be stacked against the poor.
Calculations for benefits are done based on certain life expectancy age. The poor are more likely to die younger, often before they are eligible for benefits, yet the age for receiving benefits is being progressively increased.
The number of contributions for pension eligibility has been progressively increasing, leaving out many of the poor. Additionally, many employers fail to pay in the contributions of their poor workers. Thus, they lose twice.
They usually receive low wages and their pension contribution is not paid in. These include workers in fishing, farming, construction, food services, care giving, landscaping, and almost all low wage jobs.
We have not heard about anyone being prosecuted for failure to turn in contributions from workers.
Investment in high risk ventures, and projects with little prospect of producing dividends have apparently depleted the pension funds.
This together, with high unemployment has put pressure on the pension fund causing it to reduce benefits to those entitled. The interest of workers is not adequately safeguarded because they have no democratic representation on the decision-making board.
Although the bible says that we have the poor with us always, there is no virtue in us making people poor and keeping them there.
Anthony G. Stewart, PhD