In a few weeks’ time, social security contributors will see more money coming out of their pay cheques. That’s because there will be a one-percent increase in SSB contributions. Simultaneously, those who fall ill or go on maternity leave, would receive up five hundred and twenty dollars per week while they recoup. The media asked Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, John Briceno today about it.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “First of all this decision was made way before we came into government. Social Security went through an extensive consultations countrywide and so it is only after that consultations were made then the government of the day passed legislation to increase the Social Security contributions. Last year when we just got into government we realized that we were in a crisis in this country, we still are, but it was very very bad and so we decided to defer it for one year. So everybody knew that it was coming one year from now hoping to give a little settle for businesses in particular, more the businesses than the employees because it is an investment in your future. You when you pay monies into Social Security and we’ve been raising the bands from which you can insure your earnings and your retirement that now it will help the very public officers who are earning above $300 that now they are going to be having a larger portion of their salaries insured so that when they retire they could get back more.”
While it was something planned by the previous administration and deferred for a year, PM Briceno explained that this is something important for every contributor in the long run.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s something that had to be done. If we don’t do it now, don’t do that 1% increase the numbers have shown by the actuary of Social Security by 2024 the fund will be in equilibrium meaning every dollar we’re collecting we’re paying out a dollar and then that means then we will have to increase the contributions way more than 1% so it’s best we do it now so that we could give a chance or the fund to build up so that’s all we’re doing.”
The adjustments in the wage band and the contributions will come into effect on Monday, January 3, 2022.