Dominica hosting the 22nd Meeting of Caricom Heads of Social Security

first_img Share 19 Views no discussions LocalNews Dominica hosting the 22nd Meeting of Caricom Heads of Social Security by: – April 11, 2011 Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Tweet Share Dominica is currently hosting the 22nd Meeting of CARICOM Heads (Directors) of Social Security.The annual meeting is held in a different CARICOM member state every year, bringing together the Directors of the Social Security Organizations within the CARICOM sub-grouping to deliberate on pertinent issues affecting these organizations and to explore strategies and approaches for treating with common problems.The meeting is being convened under the theme “Social Security, striving for continuous improvement”.Mrs. Jean-Jacques the Director of Dominica Social Security explained the agreement, “we have a CARICOM reciprocal agreement that came into being on the 1st of April, 1997 which makes possible the totalization of the contributions paid by CARICOM nationals who move and work within the various CARICOM countries to allow them to qualify for pension benefits. And so, every year we report on the operationalization of that agreement and the difficulties being experienced and we examine ways in which we can improve the operationalizing of the agreement.”One of the most pertinent issues which the CARICOM Heads face is the payment of pension benefits for CARICOM nationals who also work outside of their home country; how this claim should therefore be processed, which country pays what amount and what procedure can be employed to facilitate this accross the board in all CARICOM coountries.The Director Mrs. Jean-JacquesThis year, Dominica Social Security was charged with the responsiblity of preparing a document highlighting the procedures which will be circulated within CARICOM to decide how these claims should be processed. Although a national must work a total of ten years, which is 500 weekly contributions to qualify it does not mean that these ten years must be during employment in one member country. A national could also be employed in one CARICOM country for five years, three years in another and two years in another country and qualify as these contributions can be totalized.Mrs. Jean Jacques further explained the three different scenarios whereby a CARICOM national can qualify; “one you qualify independantly meaning if you worked in one country for ten years and another for ten years you qualify for two independent pensions. The second; I work long in Dominica to qualify for a pension but not enough in Antigua and St. Lucia. Therefore St. Lucia and Antigua must pay a partial pension to the individual even though it was for one week the national worked there. The third scenario; where a national has not worked long enough anywhere to qualify independently but the contributions are totalized; meaning all the contributions are brought together to allow the national to qualify for a partial pension which is much better than if you had received a grant as the lump sum finishes quickly. The national would receive a pension which is a lifelong benefit.”Although some participating CARICOM countries still express difficulty with the procedures of the new agreement, Mrs. Jean Jacques is hopeful that in time the process will run smoothly.Twenty-five (25) participants representing 15 member states, and representatives from the Inter-American Conference on Social Security (CISS)—based in Mexico; the CARICOM Secretariat and the Consulting Firm from the United Kingdom are among persons attending the meeting.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img

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