The Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday passed the Social Security Amendment Bill 2106, which will see 2 percentage points added to current contribution levels of Social Security and the age of retirement increased.
Minority Leader in the Senate Senator Lennox Weston, the bill will see the age of retirement increased by one year every two years with age 65 as the limit. He said the effects of the bill will be seen in 2017.
“This bill essentially seeks to remove the retrenchment of the age of retirement from within the act and to place the powers to amend the age of retirement of the contribution to the regulations and of-course the regulations can be changed much more easily,” he said.
According to the Senator, the change will lift the burden from the Social Security as it relates to the payment of pension and will also allow residents to work longer if they so desire.
“Essentially these two measures will of course ease the payout of social security, it will increase the intake of social security and it will allow Antiguans and Barbudans to work until 62 if they so desire because this government have taken the pension age for the social security as the age of retirement,” he added.
The Minority Leader said that private business have the right to set their retirement age as they see fit but persons will not be able to receive pension until the age of 62, then ultimately 65. He said this is in keeping with regional bodies.
Deputy Political Leader of the United Progressive Party Jacqui Quinn also supported the amendment. She said that although the government has her support, further consultations should have been held.