NIS blackout

Herbert cries foul over lack of transparency

One of Barbados’ leading actuaries today cried shame on the authorities, saying the lack of transparency within the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was “worrying”.

In light of recent assurances given by Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo that the island’s social security scheme remains financially sound, Founding Principal of Eckler Limited Charles Herbert today demanded hard proof in the form of a copy of the latest actuarial review.

However, he said despite repeated requests for a copy of the official document in order to carry out his own detailed analysis, to date he has not been able to access it.

“The National Insurance [and Social Security] Act actually gives a mandatory date for them to have audited accounts and for them to be laid in Parliament. So it is just one more case where we are actually breaking the law,” Herbert told participants at the fourth annual Eckler investment review seminar at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre today.

“We have a board of directors [of the NIS] who are mandated to produce audited accounts. They don’t produce them by a long shot and they are not fired,” he lamented, while revealing that he had sent “countless” unanswered emails to the Director of National Insurance.

“My emails to him are not returned. The Minister of Labour, who is responsible, tells us that we can’t get it until it is laid in Parliament, but that won’t take long . . .  . It is not fair that these reports, required by law, they are prepared and we are not given access to them,” stressed Herbert, who is also chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association.

The findings of the 15th actuarial review, made public last month by Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, revealed that reserves in the National Insurance Fund (NIF) could be depleted “as early as 2045 under the pessimistic scenario, or as late as 2074 under the optimistic scenario”.

While Byer-Suckoo gave the assurance that the fund remained safe, the report pointed out that if Government debts are excluded from the NIF, “depletion of reserves is projected to occur in 2033”.

The report, which looks at the period 2012 and 2014, said the Fund’s reserves grew from a revised $3.9 billion at the end of 2011 to $4.7 billion at the end of 2014.

The 68-page document also revealed that at the end of 2014, the NIF had $565.7 million in un-invested assets, comprising of $121.7 million in cash, bank balances of $223.7 million from contributions receivable, and $220.3 million from accounts receivable.

However, Herbert is demanding greater transparency within the NIS, including disclosure of the names of persons comprising its nine-member tripartite board.

He is also concerned that Government may not be paying contributions for public sector employees.

“The National Insurance is our business. We must demand transparency and accountability and we must hold our representatives to account,” he said, while suggesting that the social security scheme would need to undergo significant pension reform within the next decade in order to safeguard the NIS’ future.

The changes, he suggested, would include an increase in pensionable age and a hike in contributions.

“I think that contribution rates will rise sooner than we would have anticipated before. While that might have been put off to 2025 or 2026,  I think we could see a rise in contributions [before then],” Herbert said.

“And I think we will see the retirement age increase again from time to time. I think the retirement age is the safety valve that keeps the ratio between contributors and pensioners at a level that is doable,” he added.

As a result of pension reform started in 2003, the pensionable age has been increasing by six months every four years from January 1, 2006, until it reaches 67 in January 2018 for un-reduced pension.

67 Responses to NIS blackout

  1. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe October 24, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    the NIS scheme in the hands of an idiot “on purpose” Charles …

    so they could raid it whenever they want …. with diminishing sources of finance ….

    Welcome to the NIS Bank & Trust

  2. Yaaqov Abioye
    Yaaqov Abioye October 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Minister Byer keep them to hell out. Herbert want to use the NIS as a political football all across Bim you’re doing the right thing keep him to hell out.

    • Ricardo Worrell
      Ricardo Worrell October 25, 2017 at 12:22 am

      another dlp minster in disguise

    • Yaaqov Abioye
      Yaaqov Abioye October 25, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Why does that bother you? I dont think you should loose any sleep over that.

    • hcalndre October 25, 2017 at 2:03 am

      @Yaaqov Abioye; You are saying that the public should not know how their funds are used and how much its worth. You believe the money belong to minister Byer. She could give what ever figures she likes but she has to bring the proof. There is such a thing as transparency that this government seems not to pay any attention to, then one day some one will come and say the funds are all gone and no one will be going to jail, just like Clico.

    • Yaaqov Abioye
      Yaaqov Abioye October 25, 2017 at 5:45 am

      Penny, Charles Herbert is no politican as far as i know. However he being the chairperson of the private sector is creating problems for the government.

      • Seaweed October 25, 2017 at 8:59 am

        Yaaqov Abioye, you obviously are not concerned that the government is not being transparent. Herbert is right to bring this to the attention of Barbadians. The government has created its own problem and is breaking the law. What are they hiding?

  3. archy perch October 25, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Mr. Herbert – as Chairman of the Private Sector Association – you need to tell your members to pay up the Vat monies they owe to the government.
    And as an Actuary, you already know that’s in the millions. I think the Central Bank Governor listed the figure at 900 million, correct? Now that would be transparency for all of us across the board wouldn’t it be?
    You and your members are nothing but a bunch of PARASITES sucking the blood out of Barbados, while claiming to be patriotic. Prices are raised and kept high, whether or not people have the ability to pay. All this while you erseholes swell your already fat financial pockets.
    The un-holy alliance you have formed with the Trade Unions in an effort to bring down the DLP government will NOT succeed.

  4. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 4:05 am

    @hcalndre. Can’t you read? The public is not being denied any information. The problem is that this clown Herbert wants to get the information before it goes to cabinet. This has been the requirement from this me in memorial. Why does he think he has special privaledges? He is a desrespectful joker.

  5. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Archy Perch you are so correct! You hit the nail on the head. Have a look at Massy financial statements. They continue to make millions in profits before NSRL and after NSRL they will continue to make profits. They will tell the BWU that they are restructuring and reduce staff and the union will do nothing.

    • tedd October 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      at least they followed the law and allowed the public to review their financial statement

  6. Paul R. Farmer
    Paul R. Farmer October 25, 2017 at 5:24 am

    My question is why have the accounts in NIS not been audited and laid before Parliament and made available for public review? It is the right of every Barbadian to see these reports.

    • Dwayne Sealy
      Dwayne Sealy October 25, 2017 at 8:05 am

      valid question, but I suppose it is best answered by these three words: Auditor General’s Report

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner October 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Dwayne Sealy Auditor General in Barbados got zero power year after year he talks about the shady dealings millions going missing but yet politicians just ignore him and the shady dealings and missing millions keep adding up.

  7. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce October 25, 2017 at 5:35 am

    No wonder BIM is in a state, everybody in authority doing what they like, they are not accountable to anyone. Downgrade, Downgraded, Broke, Mashup, Gone!

  8. Nikki Bayley
    Nikki Bayley October 25, 2017 at 6:02 am

    It’s only been 9 years……

  9. Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 6:45 am

    When is he going to stop meddling in areas that don’t concern him?

    These are only interested in creating chaos in the country. All of a sudden these white people sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

    They all seem to want to run Barbados from their Board rooms.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine October 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

      You could really shut the foolish rip in your face. The man ask for a copy actuarial review. Barbadians got a right to know what going on with their NIS contributions in light of the fact that you wicked brutes do not tell the whole truth. You and the idiots you support are the biggest sycophants in the history of DLP politics. Go and tell DEM to get transparent ya blind bat loyal.

    • tedd October 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      he pays NIS and is entitled to a pension, sick leave and disability. therefore is a stakeholder in NIS just like any other worker.

      • tedd October 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        the point being, that it is also his business he is poking his nose into

    • Milli Watt October 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      when this crowd got a vested interest in it namely a pension they contribute to this is the result………one the top feeders hunting I know I goin get sumtin. I say leave him and the rest cause I surely won’t get any answers

  10. Freeagent October 25, 2017 at 7:27 am

    All government offices, including statutory boards, are required by law to produce audited accounts TO THE RESPECTIVE MINISTRY by March 31 ANNUALLY.

  11. Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 8:15 am

    The DLP cabinet and the NIS Board are breaking the law by not meeting the mandatory date for them to have audited accounts and for them to be laid in Parliament.

    • Andy October 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Make the Directors of NIS liable for prosecution for breaking the laws of the country. You will see how fast they comply.

  12. lswiltshire October 25, 2017 at 8:35 am

    RE All of a sudden these white people sticking their noses where they don’t belong.



  13. Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

    This is thee same Charles Herbert that is Chairman of Goddards Enterprises, that got one of his sons as the Property Manager at Goddards Enterprises working 2 hours per day drawing a hefty salary and the other as the Company Doctor, Where is the transparency here Charles, have you declared to the Board of Directors that Dr. Joseph Herbert and Richard Herbert are your sons.
    Boy these white shadows don’t want to be shadows anymore them coming onto the front line to make sure BLP get back in power so they can take us back into slavery working seven days per week, two week vacation per year, and smartly get rid of the trade unions as the private sector funds the Management coures at UWI Cavehill and programming them that there is no need for the Unions

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

      So are you saying that NEPOTISM is alive and kicking at Goddards Enterprises?

      Why is it that Black people cant get a pick at Goddards Enterprises as a company Doctor or Property Manager?

      Why is it that he is not coming to Barbados Today and talking about that?

      • Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Goddards employing Trinidadian Managers now if you please A Trinidadian is the CEO another Trini just come on board and a few more already here there only employ black managers if they can use them like the one them buy out from BWU

  14. Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 9:59 am


    A head full of fears
    Has no space for Dreams


  15. Patrick October 25, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Tired of hearing Charles Herbert, I am wondering if that is the same man who resigned from LOB board when Stephen Alleyne was made President/ CEO?

  16. Phillip Goddard October 25, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Mr. Herbert has every right to question the operations of the NIS as does every other Barbadian citizen. The continued mismanagement of the financial affairs of the country is on a ruinous path and should not be allowed to continue unchecked.

    • John Everatt October 25, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I agree with that 100%. More Barbadians need to question the acts of NIS and the government. It is true that the auditor general says the same things every year and government has not responded to these reports at all. The many millions that have gone missing and non existent accounting by many of the government entities. Why don’t you people questions this?

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm


      While you are at it, how about asking CHARLES to lower the prices of his goods and services of his establishments.

      The sky high prices are killing Black Bajans.

      • jennifer October 25, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        OK. Take it lite. More hardship coming too.

  17. Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Phillip you were the worst Minister of Health Barbados ever seen
    No wonder Goddards dont have anymore Goddards in the Board Room
    The white shadows coming out in full force now
    Wunna real desperate to get BLP back in power

  18. Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Charles Herbert own a Plantation and bringing he old Plantation mentality to to the fore, he can’t bully nobody at Goddards now thee Trinidadians running it but want to Bully NIS
    This is what Goddards paying he $30,000 per month to do

  19. Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Mark My Word, you are embarrassing me and other thinking Black people. You are afraid to show your face or use your name when you attack other people… the Mark of a Coward.

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm


    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      You are not a thinking Black person , you are an OREO.


  20. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Phillip Goddard can you tell us why you and your family or board at Goddards did not appoint Ian Alleyne as CEO, a black very well qualified and experienced professional? Is it that he is too black? Is he not more qualified and experienced than the Trinidadian was was appointed. You and Charles need to set the example. You cant tell anyone about transparency. Give black people who deserve a fair chance the opportunity they deserve. Stop the nepotism and racist.

    Tell Charles he has to wait his turn. There is a process. It goes to cabinet first. You or him will not dictate to this government.

  21. Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Yes Mark My Word, Charles Herbert bought a derelict plantation with his own money earned as an actuary, and brought it back to productivity so that it now employs dozens of Black people. What have you done lately?

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Black people like you don’t fail to amaze me. Say the truth about a White person and your lot get all hot and sweaty with rebuttals.

      Maybe you are sorry that you were not born White.

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      By the way, Black people are not paid enough to buy a Plantation whether derelict or other wise. We are paid just enough to get by and to return to work the next week.

      All the high paying jobs are given to relatives. Have you ever heard the term , “” NEPOTISM “”??????

      • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        I am a very proud Black man with very radical politics… very far to the left of the BLP or DLP, and certainly very much out of alignment with Charles Herbert’s politics. I just happen to like the truth, however.

        • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm

          which TRUTH are you talking about?

          • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm

            The Truth that the BLP/DLP have long since both sold out both the working and thinking people of Barbados. That they have stacked the NIS Board as well as the Central Bank Board with their White Massas (White whether they have pink or brown skin) and they have pushed Barbados to the brink of ruin. There is a difference between the Herberts and the Bjerkhamns/Williams/Maloneys/Simpsons and you would do well to figure out what that difference is. I’ll give you a clue: they’re all White, but some of them are always sucking on the government tit and teefing the taxes you pay.

  22. Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Saga Boy, the DLP cabinet and the NIS Board are breaking the law by not meeting the mandatory date for them to have audited accounts and for them to be laid in Parliament.

    • Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Did your Barbados Labour Party “”…. breaking the law by not meeting the mandatory date “”

      I don’t remember you complaining back then.

  23. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Peter Thompson deal with the message. Is “Mark my word” TELLING THE TRUTH?

  24. Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    No, Saga Boy, Mark My Word is not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth

    • Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Peter I always thought you were an Indentured Servant, a lackey, a sell out, anti Black, a stool pigeon, a mole, a double agent, a yard duck, and an infiltrator but I have all the proof now, as you know that’s your heritage.

      I always tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.
      Are you working on Herbert plantation as a slave driver?

  25. Carson C Cadogan October 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I thought it would be better for CHARLES HERBERT to tell his private sector to the NIS the hundreds of millions of dollars they owe the NIS.

    But instead of that he comes with this gobbledygook.

    • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Well I almost agree with you Carson… I was at a BPSA meeting several months ago where Herbert seemed sympathetic to a suggestion to “name and shame” businesses who would not pay tax or NIS arrears.. other White people like Straker from the Small Business Association also seemed to voice support, but there were others like Abed who appeared vehemently opposed, so the suggestion went nowhere.

  26. Harry October 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Yaaqor who have now join CCC as another person making absolutely assine comments. We expect that from CCC as he is blindly politically motivated and a racist as well.

    Everyone has the right to ask for transparency when it comes to NIS funds, please understand that this our money being taken out and invested on our behalf to provide us with a pension when we retire. Successive Govts have used NIS as a source of borrowing this well known, however has this Govt being paying back?? It is time that Govts and politicians are held responsible be it DLP or BLP and provide accounts in a timely manner in accordance with the law.

  27. lswiltshire October 25, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    RE Carson C Cadogan
    October 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm
    I thought it would be better for CHARLES HERBERT to tell his private sector to the NIS the hundreds of millions of dollars they owe the NIS.


  28. Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I can understand Cow Williams making noise if he ain’t get a contract and have to lay off workers

    I can understand Bizzy williams making noise because because the Government give the OK for a foreign company to come and put down a solar farm here while having his application in limbo
    I can understand David Seale making noise because Sandals get nuf nuff concessions and ain’t buying one bottle of rum from him but bringing all from Jamaica.

    But I can’t understand a man that owns a plantation and working part time other wise and getting over $30,000 per month holding hands with the sell out Union leader, pretending he marching with the working class people that barely making ends meet while pressing Government to implement a 24 hour work day so them don’t have to pay over time for Satudays and Sundays making mock sport at the workers and trying to bully the elected Government of the day, he has to have something sinister up his Sleeve.

    In all my years on earth I never see a Plantation owner marching with poor people
    What will they think of next

    • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Mark My Word, let me explain a thing or two to you. I hate capitalism, but I can tell the difference between a capitalist and a crook.
      Herbert made his money as the founder of Eckler Limited in Barbados and has sunk a bunch of it into playing at being a ‘gentleman farmer.’ The money doesn’t come from the plantation, that’s just where he chooses to spend it… other rich white dudes choose fast cars, fancy yachts, or fast & fancy women… Herbert chooses to play around in the dirt growing fruits and vegetables; to each his own.
      Herbert does not need a penny of the money from being Chairman of Goddards. However, you will notice that Goddards is the only Barbadian multinational conglomerate that has not run away from Barbados like Sagicor, or sold controling interest offshore like BS&T. It also happens to be among the best run companies in the region (despite hating capitalism I have an MBA and know how to read a balance sheet).
      So Herbert opens his big mouth to try to protect the retirement savings of ordinary Bajans and yardfowls like you start spouting your vitriol from behind anonymous screens. We know who has sent you; it is the Massa figures that bankroll both the BLP and DLP from the Board rooms of the NIS and Central Bank. Oh, you thought you were working for the Black politicians… give me a break, their strings are being pulled by the people who bankroll them… White people (some with pink skins and some with brown ones) who want to keep being able to manipulate institutions like the NIS and Central Bank against the interests of ordinary Bajans.
      You see Herbert does not need the NIS, he does not need his plantation, he doesn’t even need Goddards, he is simply fool enough to actually believe that somebody should be looking out for the people who have entrusted their retirements to the NIS.
      You will probably depend on the NIS as will the vast majority of Bajans, almost all of them Black people. The NIS board is not for your interests, the DLP cabinet is not looking out for your interests, the BLP opposition isn’t even bothering to ask questions in Parliament. But you have saved your venom for Herbert because his skin isn’t Black enough. Good luck with that

      • Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        I did my MBA with Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA
        Peter you did yours Online and Herbert help you

        • Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 9:52 pm

          All I saying I never in my life have I seen a millionaire White plantation owner march up Broad street holding the General Secretary hand misleading workers

          Mamaguy: Try to deceive (someone), especially with flattery or untruths.

          Them march the workers from Queens Park up Broad street . and Mamaguy them
          Even Herbert come back and say the march ain’t do nothing
          Mamaguy the Workers

          • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 10:28 pm

            Mark My Word, you are forgetting about David Seale in 1991. That was the last time the corporate sector made common cause with unions and marched. Other White owned businesses like Cave Shepherd, Goddards, Geddes Grant and A S Bryden joined R L Seale & Co in closing their businesses to march with their employees.

        • Peter Thompson October 25, 2017 at 10:59 pm

          I’m delighted, Mark My Word, that with your excellent education you will be able to appreciate the NIS’s 15th Actuarial Review… particularly when it points out that “Limited investment diversification and weak government finances remain major concerns…” and that because of government fiscal mismanagement “the Fund faces the risk of GOB restructuring some or all of the debt that NIF holds…”
          So you will understand that this means that your pension is put at risk… and this was in 2014, so you will also understand that some people are concerned to see the audited accounts that the government was supposed to have let you see since March

  29. Harry October 25, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Peter Thompson well said sir. Herbert is a Barbadian working to assist Barbados. As for Goddards when BS&T sold off their business in the Caribbean, Goddards expanded theirs and today about 60% 0f their profit comes from outside Barbados. How many white managers in Goddards apart from Leslie Proverbs & Deane I can’t think of any more – many black managers Ian Alleyne, Andy Hope, Ralph Holder, Tracy Shuffler, and the Group financial Controller

    I am bitterly disappointed in some of these comments I’ve read here today sadly in 2017 racism and ignorance are alive and well in Barbados. Herbert has every right to question why the NIS report has not been laid in Parliament it should concern every Barbadian.

  30. Lorenzo October 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Mark or Marcia My Word are you Minister Lowe all you and CCC do is spread a lot of DLP propaganda on this forum attacking people rather than dealing with any substance but remember this time longer than twine and you all feeding at the trough will come to and end and I hope both of you get what you deserve as both of you are a disgrace to black people.

  31. Mark My Word October 25, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Lorenzaaa you loose a lot of weight lately the antiviral medication not working

  32. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Mark my word yah mek me laugh real hard re Lorenzaaa. Peter Thompson is a brainwashed white man lackey….He dont even understand what is written

    • Peter Thompson October 26, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Saga Boy, we understand that you have to resort to ad hominem insults because I have proven your arguments to be wrong. I am not beholden to anyone and that is why I don’t have to hide my identity like you do. The BLP and DLP are the “brainwashed white man lackey” because it is Bjerkhamn, Maloney et al who are paying the bills.

  33. Lorenzo October 26, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Mark My Word typical gutter Dems gutter response from you a so called holder of a university degree in what pimping.Take heed of your MP Mara Thompson and lift yourself out of the gutter with substance.Mr Herbert is a Barbadian who has the right to ask about the NIs funds and where it is going,so rather than attack the man answer the question you moron.Trust me,you can attack all you like iwill respond to any mis information you place on these blogs as I am not afraid of you,so come goodBarbadians what to hear of plans for their country economically not trivia about LEC etc.


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