‘Post-retirement payments not keeping up with cost of living’
Pensioners here are getting diminishing returns on their post-retirement payments, with the country’s best efforts to have pensions keep up with the cost of living falling short, according to retired Justice of Appeal Sherman Moore.
Delivering a lecture Thursday night at the Barbados Workers Union’s (BWU) Harmony Hall headquarters, Moore said the benefits were contracting as time when by, posing “our greatest challenge”.
“The fact that pensions become smaller and smaller as time increases, that has always been and will always be our greatest challenge . . . It has always been a challenge, even at the level of the civil service.
“There has been, over the years, a lot of talk about indexing pensions to the cost of living. I don’t think that much has been done about that,” the retired judge said in response to retired BWU General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman who asked about a decline in pensions since the 1930s.
“What within the law may be done to improve and to modernize pension provisions . . . that the labour movement might possibly explore . . . to cause our unions to be able to step up the action on governments,” Sir Roy had asked Moore.
The lecture on The Enactment of Social and Labour Legislation was part of the programme for the BWU’s 75th anniversary celebrations.
“I see it as a fairly difficult prospect,” he told Sir Roy. “Back in the 1940s, 50s there was a cost of living element to the salaries of public servants, [however], the Acts that brought that into being were repealed and not replaced.”
Nonetheless, Moore said there was an attempt at a more meaningful pension through the National Insurance Scheme.
“The National Insurance Act has tried to do something in relation to pensions because you get some little increase annually, [but] that in no way keeps pace with the cost of living,” he said.