Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has announced that registration for the historical and highly anticipated Tourism Workers Pension Scheme will begin on March 27, 2020.
The landmark Tourism Workers Pension Scheme is designed to cover all workers ages 18-59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contract or self-employed. This includes hotel workers, as well as persons employed in related industries such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.
Speaking at a sensitization session at Hotel Tim Bamboo in Portland last Thursday [February 27, 2020], Minister Bartlett said: “I am extremely pleased that after all the hard work of the senior technocrats of my Ministry along with the Board of Trustees, registration for the scheme will begin on March 27, 2020, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. This is truly tourism working for all.
“I am urging all workers in the sector to go out and sign up so they can benefit by contributing to their own retirement after giving of themselves so tirelessly.”
The Board of Trustees, which oversees the Scheme, is set to announce an Investment Manager and a Fund Administrator to manage the operations of the Scheme shortly.
Minister Bartlett added that “The development of the regulations for the Act is nearly complete which will provide the guidelines on how the scheme will operate.” The regulations will also provide for an augmented pension. Augmented pension beneficiaries will be persons who joined the Scheme at 59 years old and would not have saved enough for a pension. With the Ministry’s injection of $1 Billion to augment the fund, these persons will qualify for a minimum pension.
The Scheme has received overwhelming support from workers, employers and other stakeholders in the sector who have lauded it as a critical piece of social legislation that will positively impact many lives.
“This is the time for all tourism workers to feel confident that at the end of their years of service in the sector they love, that they can have a guaranteed pension to take care themselves,” said Minister Bartlett.
Sensitization sessions to educate workers and stakeholders will continue as part of the Ministry’s awareness efforts and culminate at the Montego Bay Convention Centre for the beginning of the registration process on March 27 from 9 am to 5 pm.