The country’s pensioners may have some improvements in disbursements starting in January, as the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Board (ABSSB) announces changes to its payment schedule.
The scheme made the disclosure during a statement on Tuesday, after it noted the strains brought on by lack of intake of contributions because of Covid-19.
With the tourism industry, Antigua and Barbuda’s main revenue earner, suffering a major hit due to the global pandemic in 2020, the head of Social Security, David Mattias had indicated that the statutory body would have cash flow issues.
“Cash flow will always impact the Pay-as-You-Go system of the ABSSB. Therefore, this year we intend to make payments in keeping with our contribution receipts,” a release from the body explained. “Rather than waiting to pay the banks one at a time, we will be paying multiple institutions at once. This will result in our major financial institutions receiving pension payments in installments.”
There are presently more than 11,000 people receiving payments through the scheme and scores of them protested the late payment of pensions last December.
Several pensioners are still awaiting December payments according to reports.
“The Social Security database will be used to determine how best to achieve this. It is anticipated that this strategy will serve to ease the burden on our customers and will be used for the next six months,” the statutory body said.
The statement acknowledged that the these are trying times for all and expressed gratitude to the beneficiaries for their “forbearance”.