Eustace to write NIS over workers’ contribution figures

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace says he will write to the National Insurance Services (NIS) asking for a review of a system he says could disqualify hundreds of Vincentians from receiving pensions.

Eustace raised the issue on Saturday for the third time this week after one of his East Kingstown constituent recently found out that although she has reached the retirement age of 60 she will not receive an NIS pension because she did not make 500 contributions to social security institution.

Eustace, a former chair of the NIS, said that the constituent does not qualify for a pension although she has surpassed the 300 contributions required when she joined the NIS.

Hans King, press secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, quoting NIS Executive Director Reginald Thomas, said on radio last week that the number of contributions required for a worker to be pensionable has increased incrementally since the NIS was founded in 1987.

In 1987, a worker had to make 150 contributions before retirement to qualify for 16 per cent of their last salary as a pension.

A worker now needs to make 500 and will get 30 per cent of their salary.

But Eustace thinks that the system is unfair and should be reviewed.

“When a person enters a government scheme on the understanding that I make 300 payment I going to get a pension for life and I [am] going to get a cheque every fortnight until I die, and when I have done that, and I reach 60 and I go to you (NIS), you’re telling me it is now 500, that ain’t my fault,” he said.

“So, I am saying the NIS has to review all of that,” Eustace further said at an Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) rally in Campden Park.

“Something has to be done about that. The NIS has to look back and come with a new conclusion,” he further stated.

Eustace said that he would write to the NIS communicating a suggestion from a “knowledgeable” person that the NIS pays a pension that reflects, proportionally, the number of contributions such retirees made.

“The NIS will have to look at these issues and make a decision,” he said.

Eustace said that the NIS benefits from the system that disqualifies retirees who have been affected by the incremental increase.

“The NIS itself, as an institution, is financially better off because of that,” he said, but added, “That is people’s living you are dealing with, that is people’s families you are dealing with, that is people’s lives you’re dealing with, that is children’s lives you are dealing with. …

“These are things that [Prime Minister Dr. Ralph] Gonsalves should be dealing with instead of flying up and down all about and we can’t see any benefits from the flying.

“You will find out in due course, when a proper study is done that there are hundred of people who are in that position.”

According to Eustace, the average civil servant will have to work full-time for ten years in order to amass the 500 contributions and many daily paid workers will never make that many contributions.

“The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the National Insurance Board, I am calling on them today to look carefully into this matter… This is serious matter you know. I am not going to be lying down on that. I am going to be talking about this matter every day. The NIS must take it into consideration. Gonsalves, as Minister of Finance, must take it into consideration. And I don’t want to hear no foolishness,” Eustace said.

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9 thoughts on “Eustace to write NIS over workers’ contribution figures

  1. EUSTACE, this is a big NIS rip off of poor people. Is Gonsalves on the board of Directors of the NIS?
    In most countries people are given the option to topping up their subscriptions to qualify for their pension.

    From a speech by Gonsalves:

    “An amount of $40 million was provided by the National Insurance Services (NIS), which was made available to International Airport Development Company [IADC] indirectly through National Properties Limited [NPL] as part payment by NPL to the IADC for a 600 acre parcel of land at Park/Industry, Bequia, bought by NPL from IADC for EC $125 million. This EC $40 million loans is therefore owed by NPL to NIS. This NIS loan to NPL is secured by lands at Park/Industry and by a government guarantee“.

    Can someone explain to me the above transaction, how it exactly works, and the need for all the ducking, diving, twisting and turning. What exactly are the implications.
    The government owned land in Bequia [Crown Land] at Park/Industry [600 acres].
    The International Airport Development Company [IADC] is a Limited Liability company wholly owned by the government of SVG.
    National Properties Limited is a limited liability company wholly owned by the government of SVG.
    The National Insurance Services is an institution wholly owned by the people and administered by SVG Government.

    I may be wrong but it seems that this was a device to take money from National Properties [$125 million] and a further amount from NIS [$40 million] and plonk both amounts into the airport at Argyle. But why take what I see as a devious route.

    Are there any other amounts owed to the NIS, how much and how is that secured?

    Further according to Gonsalves:

    o Trinidad and Tobago, which made a cash grant of US $10 million or EC $27.0 million to the Government in August 2008;
    [we will not get any more of that old friend money]

    o Austria made a payment of EC $502,000 to RIMCO, the regional supplier of Caterpillar equipment, as part payment on 3 compactors for earthworks;
    [I thought we were told that the equipment was paid for by Chavez]

    o Iran paid over US $2 million (EC $5.4 million) as a grant to the government;
    [Christian Blood Money]

    o Libya contributed US $1 million as a grant to the project
    [no wonder Gonsalves defended Gaddafi to the end, we sold our UN votes cheap]

    o Mexico has assisted by providing the Airport Master Plan free of cost.

    I have also looked at equipment prices, for equipment purchased by IADC, I cannot believe the submitted cost of equipment, and on checking, believe something is seriously wrong with the figures.

    At some time now or in the future some forensic work needs to take place. I know all about used plant, where it is acquired from and what it cost’s. I know exactly how much some of the items purchased cost, no guese work needed, I know the suppliers and what it cost..

    Posted by Peter | June 10, 2012, 21:46
  2. in 2009, the IADC purchased, from its own resources, 25 pieces of heavy equipment costing EC $12 million, namely: 17 Articulated Trucks; 2 Motors Scrapers; 2 Bulldozers (1 – D8 and 1 – D9); one Caterpillar 345 Excavator; one Caterpillar 330 Excavator, with Hydraulic Hammer; one Wagon Drill; and one Kobelco Crane.

    There is something seriously wrong with this payment. Its more than double than what it should be.

    Posted by Peter | June 10, 2012, 22:06
  3. For instance the Terex Articulated trucks are ex British Military and were sold in the UK by UK government appointed agents for 1 £35,000 buy several for £32,000 each, or buy over 10 for $28,000 each.
    This is exactly where these trucks originated from, I know because I checked at the time posing as another buyer. The prices were set prices.

    The cost of these trucks should be less than EC$2million.

    The other seven pieces of used equipment should not of cost more than EC$5million, and that’s on the high side.

    What individual arranged and conducted the purchase of this equipment. Was any overseas Vincentian involved in these transactions. Was a senator involved in these transactions?

    Was payment made directly to the vending owners or agents or was the purchase made through third party dealers or agents?

    Posted by Peter | June 11, 2012, 07:45
  4. The official LEADER OF HER MAJESTY’s LOYAL OPPOSITION has my personal O.K. and authorization to make specific inquiries about my N.I.S. contributions and their status. On my behalf he is empowered to investigate the N.I.S. status of citizens like me, who do not exactly fall into the categories examined above. I absolutely hate the cynical political misuse and abuse of our N.I.S. contributions over the years – – – if you want to make a large outlay of N.I.S. monies for various ‘construction’ or ‘investment’ purposes, then kindly come back to us, in forums similar to shareholders meetings, where, additionally, individual contributors could specifically object to their funds, specifically, being used for particular purposes. TOO MUCH POLITICALLY CORRUPT, NON-TRANSPARENT, USE OF S.V.G. NIS monies.

    Posted by STEVE_HUGGINS | June 11, 2012, 14:26
  5. I even went as far as getting quotations.

    Posted by Peter | June 12, 2012, 11:00
  6. VINCYPOWA, JASON, would you like to make a comment.

    How about you all in the Diaspora, cat got your tongue?

    Any one out there got any answers or want to make a comment?

    Posted by Peter | June 12, 2012, 11:03

    Posted by Peter | June 14, 2012, 13:48
  8. WELL? what a bunch of cowards you have all turned out to be, ‘A’ typical Marxist scum supporters, collaborators of this evil regime.

    Posted by Peter | June 16, 2012, 08:14


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