Actuarial review finds NIS underperforming

An actuarial review of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has highlighted the much criticized delay in claim payments and tardy annual reports and financial statements as major challenges facing the scheme.

However, while blaming “a backlog since 1998” for the absence of financial statements, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo is promising greater transparency.

According to the 15th annual actuarial review, which highlights the National Insurance Fund (NIF), Unemployment Fund and Severance Fund as of December 31, 2014, there were “several service and reporting challenges” that were of concern.

It said given the significant investment made in an administration and information technology system over the past 15 years, the NIS office was “underperforming what would reasonably be expected in delivering timely benefit adjudication.

“The concerns relate primarily to the time that it takes to award short-term claims and the time it takes to award pensions,” the report said.

“Obtaining complete and reliable data, both financial and statistical, from the National Insurance office is also a major concern. These challenges may be both system related and due to the lack of adequate human resources devoted to various tasks. As a result, the publishing of annual reports and the provision of data required for this report have been delayed extensively,” it added.

The NIS has a staff complement of about 300, about 280 of whom are appointed, while the remainder are on contract.

According to the 68-page review, delivered last Friday at the Ministry of Labour, “the NIS has not issued NIF annual reports since 2009 and has not submitted to the minister audited financial statements since 2004”.

However, Byer-Suckoo said the auditor general now had financial statements up to 2012 to be audited.

“I have said it before . . . but there has been quite a backlog since 1998. The auditor general did receive financial statements but because of the volume, the auditor general has been trying to work through those and has also engaged a private firm as well . . . So we have been able to do the work at National Insurance to get those statements to the auditor general … so work on that is ongoing,” said Byer-Suckoo.

She said the NIS board continued to “monitor the situation so that where adjustments are necessary they are made”, adding that transparency was necessary to help alleviate any fears regarding the scheme.

“We remain committed to ensuring the transparency. It is one thing for you to come here once every three years . . . and I try and convince you that the national insurance is fine, but you need to have access to that information.

“I believe the only way folks can continue to have the confidence in the national insurance is if there is that transparency, the communication and the availability of the relevant information. So we are working in all those regards to ensure . . . the confidence in the national insurance. It also means that when statements are being made abroad that may have the effect of creating panic, where the information is available persons would then be able to go and get it for themselves and be able to see that there is no need for panic,” the labour minister explained.

She said the delay in paying claims and pension benefits experienced during the reporting period was as a result of IT-related challenges when the NIS was making the switch to a new system, and not due to a lack of funds.

“Those delays that you have seen with cheques being issued in recent times would due more to administrative and technological challenges at the National Insurance, all of which the National Insurance was then able to quickly address to ensure that the matter was resolved, and we commit to continuing to do that, to be responsive and quickly addressing any challenges as they arise.”

The report also pointed to the need for the preparation of “good governance guidelines”.

16 Responses to Actuarial review finds NIS underperforming

  1. John Everatt September 5, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Hmmmm since 1998? Wow and this is only one of the government corporations with this kind of problem. Transparency — not really.

    Reply
  2. Amaze Attal
    Amaze Attal September 5, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Stupseeeeeeeee

    Reply
  3. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed September 5, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Only a matter of time before
    Her words drop on the ground

    Reply
  4. Steve L. Jemmott
    Steve L. Jemmott September 5, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Is this facial expression Static? it is always in shock about NIS matters.Why?

    Reply
  5. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade September 5, 2017 at 7:31 am

    To this lady bajan are a nice people but if they cannot get therr money you will see there bad side ok

    Reply
  6. Sheron Inniss September 5, 2017 at 7:33 am

    If you know someone in any government department and it involves money you can have your concern addressed in a nanosecond. The NIS is no different. I lie. We like it so.

    Reply
  7. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea September 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Stupseeeeee!!!

    Reply
  8. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield September 5, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Wow. She speaks one day that all is well and the next another story. Which is the truth. I really feel she needs to get back to the gift of healing. While at it see if someone can heal her of her constant lies.

    Reply
  9. Kay Henry
    Kay Henry September 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

    The people of this country want what is theirs we ain’t want no lot of long talk you need the boot

    Reply
  10. hcalndre September 5, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Barbados with such a small workforce and with the technology, still nothing can be done on time, I don`t know what to say. States with millions of workers can get their unemployment checks on time, their pension checks and lil Barbados that some boroughs have more people than, don`t have such problems.

    Reply
  11. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis September 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Even n.i.s this government got to tell lies about

    Reply
  12. Belfast September 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Ms Byer- Suckoo was thrown into the briar patch after the people of Barbados rejected her at the polls at the last General Election, and the Prime Minister raise his middle finger at the same electorate and people of Barbados by appointing her as a senator in the upper house and giving her a ministry too boot, a ministry which deals directly with the working and retired people of this country. Does anyone think that Ms Byer-Suckoo really has the interest of Barbadian people at heart.
    Like some of her colleagues, she has a dog hunter in one hand and a bull pistle in the other.

    Reply
  13. Milli Watt September 5, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    fund can’t last 15 years……….looking like another Greece. They call it a HAIR CUT, reduced benefits and pensions.

    Reply
  14. Tony Webster September 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Sorry, I just gotta SMFH too. When N.I.S.relocated their (then) 400-odd staff from Fairchild St., to (then) spanking- new Culloden Road complex, I crossed my fingers that this would also be the time to switch over to full I.T. solutions , rather than the then manual processing. More the idiot me: N.I.S. then took on MORE staff, to fill all those new desk spaces. ( I seem to recall Lennie St. Hill saying much the same).

    No actuary me…I’m just a bush-banker, who is half-proficient at arithmetic, and also have a great respect for the responsible custodianship of other people’s hard-earned savings. You could offer me all the money still in Cypriot banks to serve in any board, or management position of our N.I.S., and I would rather go to Washington, and carry Tony Marshall’s briefcase around for him. Good move, K.H.L.M.

    Reply

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