AS of January. 1, 2015, the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has increased the pensionable age to 65, in order to ease the fiscal burden of the NIC.
NIC Marketing and Communication Manager, Augustin Louis, said the decision came from a review of the system.
“In 2002, we had a review which revealed to us at the time that our pension payments and the qualifying conditions were too generous. If we continued along this path, the programme would have faced difficulty by the year 2030.”
This was due to the significant decrease of the number of working persons contributing to the pension scheme, Louis said. Other contributing factors, he added, were a decreased birth rate leading to a smaller work force, and an increased life expectancy due to advances in the medical field.
“Out of all the options this option was less painful. It allowed us to increase the pensionable age by one year every three years. So this is the last of three years [which took us to] 65.”
Louis encouraged Saint Lucians to use NIC pensions as a complement to other fiscal measures and not a sole source of income after retirement.