By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – An Alliance for Change (AFC) Executive Member has described the current situation at the National Insurance Scheme as “a national disaster in the happening.”
The Scheme which recently concluded its 8th Actuarial Review and celebrated its 44th anniversary has raised concerns about its viability and underperformance. Among its recommendations to ensure the scheme’s sustenance is to either increase the contribution percentage or increase the pensionable age.
In this regard, AFC’s Executive Member Mooses Nagamootoo expressed the view that this threat to the Scheme’s Viability is a self inflicted wound by the PPP/C Administration.
In making his point, he reminded of Government’s investment of approximately $6 billion in CLICO – which collapsed – saying it was a bad investment decision and is significantly responsible for the scheme’s current situation.
“The Government made a bad decision to invest in that Ponzi scheme CLICO … NIS is a good scheme, it’s just badly managed,” Nagamootoo said. However, despite these damning criticisms regarding the Scheme’s viability, Chairman of the Scheme Dr. Roger Luncheon recently expressed great faith that NIS will overcome its financial challenges and continue to make a mark on the Guyanese society.
While speaking at the institutions 44th anniversary celebrations Monday last, Luncheon said the situation is not as dire as perceived. He said while the scheme’s expenditure has out-stripped its revenue growth, the assumption of an imminent dire situation is highly exaggerated.
“We have invested all that is good and sound and wholesome and we the members, supporters, officers and staff… must never lose sight of that legacy,” Luncheon told the gathering.
At the end of 2012 the scheme’s income was $11.8 billion while its expenditure totaled $13.2 billion of which $11 billion was on benefit payment, resulting in a $477.7 million deficit.
Meanwhile, at the end of August this year the scheme’s income was $7.745 billion while its expenditure was $9.120 billion. The body’s projection for the end of 2013 is to rake in $11.631 billion in revenue while expending $13.684 billion.