Amendments recently made to the National Insurance Act pursuant to Finance (No. 2) Act, 2016 introduce a new earnings class and contribution table; increases the maximum insurable earnings from $12,000.00 to $13,600.00 monthly; increases the contribution rate from 12% to 13.2%; introduces new sickness and maternity benefits rates and new basic retirement and invalidity pension rates.
The increase in the maximum insurable earnings will effect in an equivalent increase of 13.5% in all contribution classes of insured persons. Once in effect, the increases will result in a greater number of the NIBTT’s customers being able to qualify, in their own right, for a retirement pension in excess of the minimum pension of $3000.oo, over time, with simultaneous increases in other short term benefits. There will be no change to pensions in payment or fixed rate benefits in payment. However, where qualification to benefit arises on or after September 5, 2016, the new benefit rates will apply.
According to Executive Director of the NIBTT, Niala Persad-Poliah, "The NIBTT’s decision to increase the contribution rates and the maximum insurable earnings was in keeping with the conclusions of the 9th Actuarial Review which recommended a robust mix of short-term and long-term reform measures to fortify the strength of the national insurance fund in coming decades. It was also one of the best short-term measures to adopt to ensure fund sustainability.” An Actuarial Review is conducted at the NIBTT, at five year intervals or less, and combined with projections, it assesses the ratio of benefits to contribution income and pronounces on the long-term financial condition of the fund. Increasing the contribution rate and the maximum insurable earnings will safeguard the National Insurance System, improve fund stability, and ensure it continues to be solvent and viable now and in the future. The increased maximum insurable earnings will result in greater protection for employees in the long-term since a greater proportion of their income will be insured."
- National Insurance Board of Trinidad and Tobago (NIBTT)