OBA Questions Progressive Pension Plan

July 10, 2018

The Premier’s plan to introduce a progressive pension plan next year “raises a list of serious questions which Government must urgently address,” the One Bermuda Alliance said today.

Premier David Burt recently announced the Government’s intention next year would be to “begin the process to change pension contributions from a flat rate to a more progressive system ensuring that our most vulnerable Bermudians will carry a lower share of the burden of sustaining our pension system”.

OBA Leader and Shadow Finance Minister Jeanne Atherden said: “What the Premier is calling for is essentially a social welfare programme. I have never heard of a progressive contribution into a defined benefit fund.

“As usual, policy announcements by this Government lack any detail. In the absence of a clear picture of what the Premier is suggesting, we can only speculate as to where this is going.

“The people of Bermuda need to know what actuarial and accounting assumptions are being made in order to appreciate all the effects on the pension fund. Is this a pension fund or is the Premier trying to create a social welfare programme? The Bermudian people deserve answers.

“This announcement, just like their aggressive legislative agenda, sees programmes and proposals being rushed through with limited information and little discussion as to the realities of the situation and the impacts that they may have on Bermudians.”

She said that about any proposed policy change, the Government “should be explaining to the people of Bermuda the extent of the problem it is trying to resolve, why it is the best solution, the intended impact and where the funding is coming from” as “this will let people know how this policy will affect them and the bottom line.”

Ms Atherden said the elderly “are vulnerable and need to be protected”.

“The OBA supported helping the Island’s elderly and giving those in need some help. Government’s first job should have been to continue the work of lowering health costs and reducing living expenses for Seniors.”

Government, she said, has “increased fees on cell phones, vacation rentals and increased the Standard Health Benefit which has raised health premiums and increased social insurance contributions by 4.2 percent.”

In addition, Ms Atherden said sin taxes, which includes the Sugar Tax, will “hit the average citizen with increased prices at the checkout counter.”

“Even the Health Minister has admitted that health costs are spiraling despite the Throne Speech and Election promises to bring them down. These increases, all coming under this Government, must be hitting Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda hard and they have not been offset by the creation of jobs and new opportunities promised by the PLP.

“Government’s payroll tax relief, a continuation of an OBA initiative, announced in the Budget has more than been offset by these rises, leaving the average person worse off – and we haven’t even got through the PLP’s first year yet.”

Ms Atherden added: “The PLP promised to be transparent and collaborate on important matters that effect the people of Bermuda. This is one of those matters.

“The OBA promised it would raise public consciousness about important issues which is why we are speaking out now about the PLP approach to this critical issue that will have a long term effect on the country. This is too important not just for us but our children who will bear the consequences.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. Justin says:

    Jeane, it’s all about taxing ‘other’ Bermudians more to give more to ‘real’ Bermudians. Don’t you see it? By any means necessary… That is until ‘other’ Bermudians get irritated enough to simply walk away.

  2. kevin says:

    They continue to push through their social agenda with no regard to who it may ultimately affect. The working public will be hit hard to pay for those who don’t contribute – yes i know we have a growing segment in our seniors but thats why you voted these clowns in so that they can actually create options that begin to offset the deficit in the public pension not just charge those who are contributing more. Its been said they are clueless and stevie wonder could see this. 14 years wasn’t enough for 52% of the voting public who voted for them hopefully enough will have had it and lets get a Government in who are smart enough to get the job started

  3. Of all the nonsense coming from the FEW left in the oba.
    Where is the money from AC?
    What prompted that group to bring in so many unnecessary foreigners AND allow them to set up businesses?
    What prompted the oba to bring same -sex ?? to these shores?
    What prompted oba to mention to seniors that they needing a pension increase,was ridiculous? Bob Richards saying: Do they think that money grows on trees??
    OBA …take a back seat!!

    • Justin says:

      Almost one year in office and all PLP supporters want to do is talk about the OBA.
      Where are the jobs?
      Why is my health insurance going up?
      Why is my trash only getting collected once a week?
      Why is my social insurance going up?
      Why don’t we have a casino yet?
      Why don’t we have an education commissioner yet?
      Why don’t all schools have WiFi?
      Why do we need a sugar tax?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Every day, there’s the “dumbest post of the day”…and here is today’s nugget of wisdom.

      Tell me, can you read without moving your lips?

    • Checkmate says:

      Hello Tourism is up! You really cannot be that misinformed!
      Let’s stop playing blind politics!
      Also, money has no colour…policies need to be sound!

    • aceboy says:

      Boy, you are not very intelligent.

    • puzzled says:

      You know I cannot walk away without commenting that this is the most stupid and divisive comment I have read in many years.

      Where is the money from the AC; et al.

      Your a fool and a stupid person.


    • Kevin says:

      at least there are a few thousand who pocketed through
      Beauty salons
      Tourism marketing (major)
      when you can turn 70 into 300 that’s a good thing the plp know how to turn 300 into 70
      that’s the real deal
      I didn’t vote for them

    • Pickled Tink says:

      Where is the Money from AC? Are you for real? Where have you been, in a cave for the last year? There have been publicly audited reports confirming that AC cost us LESS than predicted and made us more than we spent? If you want to know where money went, Ask your premiere where the $800mil that was UNaccounted for during their last14 years in power is!
      What businesses? What foreigners? Examples please – not fake news! Oh, and why aren’t you complaining about Burtcoin? You think that is going to be set up by locals? LOL
      OBA brought same sex to these shores? Really?!
      Money does not grow on trees.

      Now that I have wasted two minutes replying to your nonsense. Lets talk facts and what ALL people including you should have a problem with. The PLP government like ALL previous governments continue to raise rates while allowing many small businesses slip by without paying ANYTHING! And can you blame them? Who is checking? How many auditors do we have checking? And who are they auditing? Not the small business! I believe 60% of people are employed by small to mid size businesses! So if they don’t pay – nobody chases them!


  4. aceboy says:

    But it even has the word progressive in it!? It must be great!

  5. Ok says:

    Oh Miss Jeanne shut up and go knit something! The only reason you are against the sin tax for sugar is because it will drive business away from the Milkman’s sugar drinks like Tropicana that he makes millions on! You are like a Dunkely hand puppet! He makes your mouth move and he throws his voice!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Maybe like the rest of us , of any political persuasion ,who are against it she also realizes that all it will do is further exacerbate our already ridiculous cost of living and do nothing whatsoever to reduce health issues.
      It will mean more money for government to waste though .

  6. facts of the rock says:

    simply put,the plp are looking for ways to get as much money as possible for themselves!

  7. watching says:

    And what did the OBA do in 5 years to solve the underfunding of the Pensions? What did they do to solve the Health costs issue?

    • Question says:

      The OBA tried (and succeeded) to reduce health costs. But every health cost initiative was met with protests. Still, now you got what ypu voted for. A nice big fat increase in imaging costs (who does that benefit, exactly?). And increased health costs. You voted for it.

      • watching says:

        EVERY initiative was met with protests? Details please…

        • Question says:

          Where are the details of the increased imaging costs?

          Yes, every attempt to reduce costs. Of course you pretend to have forgotten.

        • aceboy says:

          You were marching with the People’s Campaign surely? Or were you too tired to bother?

    • Double S says:

      The 2017 health premium under the OBA was reduced. The first one for the PLP was increased.

  8. Jus' Askin' says:

    Get rid of this cancer plaguing our economy.

    Pension is a PONZI Scheme and needs to be ended.

    Let people control their own money!!!

    *Lower Birth Rates
    *Aging Population (people living longer)
    *Less Bermudians Working
    This is Unsustainable and a Burden

    Those that put this in place have capitalized and moved on.
    We need to STOP it NOW.

    FACT – The first to receive, contributed nothing in the way of monies!!!

    • JIGGSBDA says:

      Get rid of the Pension and you will see chaos in Bermuda. When all of those who want to control (read spend) their money now reach retirement watch out.

      Keep thinking that saving for the future through the National Pension is a scam, then wait and see the marches, break ins and petty larceny multiply.

      Trust me people have to be protected from themselves.

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        did You read my post?

        I did not say it was a scam, I said it was a CANCER!


        Chaos is happening now :-(

        “Trust me people have to be protected from themselves” that is a BPS quote ;-)

        • Pickled Tink says:

          You do know a PONZI Scheme is a scam don’t you?