GOB Willing to Have Stakeholder Involvement in Pension Reform Exercise
The Government of Belize is looking to undertake a comprehensive pension reform program. This program is aimed at strengthening the country’s current pension system which has been facing financial challenges. The reform includes increasing the retirement age for public officers, introducing a mandatory contribution scheme for public officers, and exploring the idea of privatization of the pension scheme. However, public officers have stated that they will not be subscribing to yet another payment scheme. Prime Minister, John Briceño, says they will be engaging with stakeholders during this process.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Well they’re the ones that set the timeline you know. They’re saying that they want everything done by the 1st of April and so we’re just responding well if you want to do the 1st of April let’s sit down and get it done it can be done. We are going to have a meeting I think it’s tomorrow and our representatives in that committee the DPM and Minister Fonseca, Henry Charles and Chris we have already told them more or less what it is that we can expect or what is it that we believe that we can do and so definitely the increments but we need to put now a system in place for increments to be given based on merit and the pension reform I think the first step is that there is – and the unions have already accepted that yes they agree that there supposed to be pension reform and they’re saying well they want to start at ground zero if we’re to do that it’s going to take us about thirty years before we start to really feel the benefits of it. Thirty years from now the amount that we’ll be paying is going to be incredibly high so we simply cannot afford it. So we will sit down with them and try to find a way how we can implement it probably it would take more than six weeks of course it probably will but the important point is that once both groups have said yes we need to do it and these are the parameters and then work towards it.”