I extend greetings to you, my Fellow citizens, nationals, residents, and contributors to Social Security, as Prime Minister and Minister of Social Security, on this, the 45th anniversary of St Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board.
This year, we celebrate under the theme Transform Reform Thrive: Social Security 45.
As a socially responsible organization, Social Security has demonstrated its commitment to nation-building through its various programs. Annual donations to health and national security, education, capital investment in local development projects, and support to youth programs and NGOs, all add value to the core function of social security.
We are grateful to the founding fathers, Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw after whom the Headquarters is named, and E. St John Payne whose visionary work pioneered an organization founded on international principles of equity, solidarity, and universality. With foresight, significant decisions made back in 1978, have propelled the fund into financial prowess and security, 45 years later.
We are also indebted as a Nation to all the former administrators, management, and staff whose contributions cannot be measured or minimized. We are grateful for your stewardship and thank you for your commitment and dedication to the Board’s mission to provide the best possible benefits to all insured.
Today Social Security, provides twenty-six (26) benefits, each with its qualifying conditions and rates of payments.
Social Security continues to position itself as the premiere pillar of our society, providing payments to the insured in situations such as sickness, maternity, employment injury, disability and in old age, amongst others. I can recall a point in our history when our people had no social income protection after retirement or when life circumstances came upon them. Today, all insured persons can rely with confidence on the ability of the Social Security Fund to pay benefits on the most vulnerable occasions.
This year as we observe our maturing fund, which stands with a reserve of over $1.7 billion, we acknowledge also our equally important and critical role to bolster and reinforce the current structure to advance transformational reform. This resolute act will assure the vitality and assurance of the social security fund for another 45 years or more.
This lifeline institution currently serving nearly 7000 age pensioners, and all the contributors to Social Security, demands that due care and diligence is given to its continued sustainability. Without adjustments, to the current structure, our robust fund can be depleted by 2040 or thereabout. The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration is committed to ensuring that the Reform Agenda is carried out and the best possible solutions are implemented over time to thrust Social Security into another 45 years of service to our people.
Despite the growing challenges and the intricacies of changing demographics, Social Security remains a strong and resilient safety net to all contributors.
As Minister with responsibility for Social Security matters, I make an earnest plea to Employers and the Self Employed, to remain compliant and make the required monthly, regular remittances to Social Security to meet the future needs of your staff who trust you to do the right thing on their behalf and to secure future benefits for yourself in retirement. I encourage all stakeholders to pay keen attention to social security matters and to ascribe to their rights and obligations as insured persons.
Throughout the anniversary period celebrated under the theme Transform Reform Thrive: Social Security 45, the Board, Management and Staff will worship together at Zion Moravian Church, on Sunday, February 5th, 2023. An Awards Gala, Virtual Panel Discussion, Scholarship Induction Ceremony and Stakeholders Meetings will be held to promote the mission of social security and the reform agenda.
I pray for God’s continued blessings on the fund, the administrators, and the people of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.
Transform, Reform, Thrive, Social Security 45.