Chairman of SSB says the Fund is not “broke” Print E-mail
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Friday, 21 June 2019 00:00

Since the Social Security Board (SSB) has made public that pension contributions would need to see an increase of 2%, the People’s United Party took to make a press release. In that release, the PUP wrongfully says that the “Belizean public... should be outraged at the news that this organization is on the brink of collapse.” During a press conference on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, which sought to address several concerns regards the increase in contribution, Douglas Singh, Chairman of the Board at the Social Security, made clarifications to the PUP’s comments.

“I need to make it clear that the Social Security is not broke. In fact, it continues to be the greatest, the largest fund, in Belize.” The fund has seen consistent growth under the United Democratic Government, from $272 million in 2008 to $459 million in 2018. That growth, a 69% increase in a decade, is “unprecedented”. This growth, Singh says, is due to the prudent management of the Investment Committed and the Board of Directors at Social Security. They have agreed on and made investments in the interest of the fund and country. In fact, SSB’s investment portfolio is at a whopping 99.4% performing meaning that only 0.6%, less than 1%, is non-performing. This has been a joint achievement because the Board, which is comprised of representatives from both business and union sectors, cannot make unilateral decisions; they can only make decisions when the Investment Committee, which has its own chairperson and board, agree.

Singh continued to boast the fund’s growth in spite of hits that it took, including mortgage securitization, Galleria Maya, and Intelco- all investments made under PUP administration.

According to Singh, the SSB is in need of increased pension contributions because a problem exists: there have been increases in the funds, but there have also been increases in benefit payouts as we came closer to pensions maturing since 1981.