House passes landmark Pension Bill for Tourism

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House passes landmark Pension Bill for Tourism

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Tourism Worker's Pension Bill is closer to becoming a reality following the passing of the Bill by the House of Representatives yesterday.

Speaking at the debate for the Bill in Parliament, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett,said the move represents, “a landmark legislation and the passage of this Bill will make Jamaica the world leader in providing tourism workers with social security.”

“It represents a commitment by the government to the social market arrangement which is to ensure that the appropriate legislation and regulations are developed to protect the most vulnerable,” he added.

The Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on April 30 by Bartlett, will now be put to the Senate to be passed.

According to the ministry, it will establish a defined pension scheme for tourism workers and self-employed tourism workers to be known as the Tourism Worker's Pension Scheme, from which retirement benefits will be paid in respect of each member and ancillary benefits for beneficiaries.

“This Bill is coming at a time when tourism is experiencing unprecedented growth globally and locally. For the first half of the year, Jamaica has welcomed two million visitors and earned close to US two billion,” Bartlett said.

“All this development and growth means tourism must take greater responsibility to ensure a greater sense of equity for our most treasured assets, our human resource,” he added.

The new pension Bill will start with an endowment of $1 billion from the Ministry of Tourism, which will be paid in instalments and will ensure that immediate benefits accumulate to qualified pensioners who have met the vested period of five years.

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