Symister says retirement age and pension benefits need to be standardized in the private and public sectors

A local attorney is concerned about a number of discrepancies
related to pensions and retirement within the private sector when
compared to practices in the public sector.
Leon Chaku Symister says these issues should be addressed
immediately, including standardizing the retirement age for
workers in both sectors.

In 2019, the Government passed legislation to extend the pension
age from 60 to 65 years. However, the extension is being enacted
incrementally – with one year added every two years until the age of
65 years becomes standardized in 2025.

At present, the pensionable retirement age is 64 within the public
service, but it remains 60 in the private sector – with Symister
saying this should not be the case.

Meanwhile, the attorney speaks to a situation within the private
sector where some persons are retiring without a pension, since
there is no legislation that demands a pension be paid.
He says it could be unfair to employees – especially those who might
have served a company for decades – to leave without the guarantee
of a pension, unless one is negotiated.
However, he notes, this does not prevent workers from receiving
their Social Security benefits.

According to Symister, even employees of a government statutory
corporation are facing the problem of not receiving a pension from
the company upon retirement.
He notes that, upon coming into office, the Gaston Browne
Administration put an end to the contributory pension plan at State
Insurance Company; so workers there will be entitled only to their
Social Security payments.