Social security makes recovery

ST. JOHN’S — In what has been called a “significant” improvement, the Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board is now posting a monthly surplus.

This comes after deficits since 2009, starting between $300,000 and $400,000 and eventually climbing to about $1.5 million per month.

Chairman of ABSSB Everett Christian said the turnaround in the organisation’s finances is directly related to reforms introduced in May.

“We have been able to bring every single payment up-to-date, so we don’t have any arrears. And over the last three months, we have been able to pay our pensions on time,” Christian said.

From May 1 employers and employees each paid an additional one per cent of insurable income to Social Security. The maximum insurable income was also increased, from $4,500 to $6,500.

In addition, from June 1 it became mandatory for the self-employed to register with ABSSB and contribute to the scheme.

Christian, speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Voice of the People yesterday, said government’s injection of $20 million of a promised $30 million into the scheme aided in clearing the arrears.

“It would have taken us six months or longer to update those,” he said.

“There is a further $10 million and that will be paid shortly. There is no specific date because it will obviously depend on the cash flow for the central government.”

Christian said he expects government to make the payment by November, although no promises have been made. (Antigua Observer)

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