…cites disparities in revenue & expenditure
The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) at the end of March 2017 reflected a surplus of $152 million, however one year later the Scheme has recorded a deficit of $296 million at the end of March 2018.
This information was outlined in the Bank of Guyana (BoG) Quarterly Report and Statistical Bulletin and raises several questions on the company’s financial position.
According to the report, the deficit “was reflective of increases in current and capital expenditures by 15.9 per cent and 38.5 per cent to $5.7 million and $2 million respectively, relative to the increase in revenues by 6.6 per cent to $5.4 million.”
The report also notes that the Public Sector’s net credit position deteriorated by 66.5 per cent to $46.8 million – moving from $28.1 million at the end of 2017.
The report blames this on worsening Central Government net credit standings. NIS was also cited in the report, when it comes to net deposits.
“Net credit to the Central Government was higher by 27.1 per cent or $21.5 million to $101.1 million at the end of March 2018. The public enterprises and the other category of public sector, which includes local government and NIS, remained net depositors; increasing by 5.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively at the end of March 2018,” the report adds.
The NIS has been implementing a number of recent changes. Funeral grants were among some of the increases announced by the entity effective from January 01, 2018.
The funeral grant was increased from $40,398 to $44,438; and as it relates to the increase in minimum payments for Old Age and Invalidity pensions, those provisions have been increased from $27,500 to $30,000 per month.
The NIS had stated in an advertisement that all pensions that are above the minimum payable rate would be increased by two per cent.
The monthly insurable earning ceiling has also increased from $220,000 to $240,000 per month, while the weekly insurable earning ceiling will be increased from $50,769 per week to $55,385 per week.
The insurable earning ceiling is the upper limit on earnings that attract NIS contributions.
In 2017, increases in insurable earning ceiling went from $200,000 to $220,000 per month, and from $46,154 to $50,769 per week.
Additionally, the minimum insurable earning ceiling for self-employed persons contributing to the NIS has been increased from $62,400 to $68,750 per month.
The minimum rate for old age and invalidity pensions has also been increased from $25,000 to $27,500 per month.