Premier: Change To More Progressive System

July 5, 2018

Next year Government “will 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,” Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt said.

Premier Burt said, “After one pension increase for seniors in six years, this Government pledged to increase pension benefits for seniors every year by the rate of inflation. We are delivering on that promise. In December 2017, an increase of 1.7% was afforded to seniors which was back dated to August 2017.

“To maintain the long-term viability of the Social Insurance Plan, whenever benefits are increased, contributions are increased as well. However in 2017 the Ministry of Finance was sensitive to the fact that contribution rates had already been set by employers for the current fiscal year, therefore, the increase in contributions was delayed until August 2018.

“Government will keep our pledge to our seniors by ensuring their pension benefits keep up with the increase in Bermuda’s cost of living.

Premier Burt concluded, “Next year, in conjunction with our pledge to create a fairer tax system, Government will 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.”

Earlier this month the Department of Social Insurance advised that there will an 4.2% increase in social insurance contributions effective on August 1, 2018.

“The current combined rate per week for both employer and employee is $68.94 or $34.47 each. This will be increased to a combined rate of $71.84 or $35.92 each. An increase of $2.90 and $1.45 respectively,” the Department said.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Politricks says:

    Pay more and get less?

    I agree with progressive tax rates, but can’t see the fairness in this at all.

    • NO NO NO says:

      NO NO NO!!

      This requires analysis and public consultation.

      NO NO NO.

      • Ok says:

        Public consultation? You think the public understands pension plans and that our seniors are driving our younger people’s costs up?

        • PANGAEA says:

          Mr OK !

          Pensioners are living on their own contributions not theirs ! They were not even born yet .

          • Wow says:

            ^ this is the problem. Somehow some people still think that their own pension contributions were enough to cover their benefits. If that was the case then there would be no need to increase current contributions. In fact I believe one of the largest liabilities of the government is unfunded pension liabilities, please correct me if I am wrong.

            Until the government does a better job educating the public about the government pension program this pervasive misunderstanding will apply. How can a country be expected to have constructive dialogue when many don’t actually understand the numbers? It becomes simply a political football.

    • Paget says:

      Premeire Burt. I applaud you for trying something different. However, the biggest threat to ones pension and health is the employer. The amount of small businesses that do not forward pension and health payments onwards is staggering. And why should they, there is nobody checking! Ask and small businesses ownner how many times they’ve ever been audited? Most would honestly answer by saying never! What happens is they don’t pay into employee pensions and pocket the money. When that person retires or gets close to retiring they find out how little they have. By that time it is too late. Of seem people loose out because their past employees went bankrupt, sold the business , closed the business, moved and in one case died. So there is nobody to chase, no assetts to seize. Nothing. So what happens. The few companies that do the right thing have to pay more so compensate. This can all easily be avaoidable. Business Licences, government contracts,vehicle license renewals, and even the need to apply for work permits should all be ways to check to confirm how many employees someone claims they have and if the have been paying what they should be. There is also an abuse of people where employers are conditionally hiring someone by saying they must sign a document stating that they are sub-contracting that person therefore absolving them of any liability to pay them health, SI , pension etc…

      • Paget says:

        Stop asking people to pay more. Please make deadbeat scamming employers accountable. If we all pay what we are supposed to we can all pay less and benefit more

  2. Question says:

    It’s easy to spend money when it belongs to someone else.

    • Reuben says:

      The other thing to remember is that as a MP his pension check is guaranteed.

    • sandgrownan says:

      At least they are consistent.

  3. WSP says:

    What happened to helping with bringing down the inflation.Liars keep taxing us.

  4. Justin says:

    So much for decreasing the cost of living in Bermuda. Haven’t kept that promise, have you?

  5. While Government is dealing with trying to improve the pension scheme,Government needs to deal with employers who are blatantly stealing from Government and Employees by not paying into the pension scheme on behalf of their employees, and blatantly flaunting the law and seemingly getting away with breaking the law, to much of this Bs happening and needs to be dealt with.

    Monies being deducted from employees and not reaching the public purse.

    • Justin says:

      Looks like Bob Richards was right – money doesn’t grow on trees!

  6. Kevin says:

    It was only a matter of time ,the plp are clueless on how to raise revenues and clueless on how to manage but you voted them in ….first the sugar tax then the B&B tax now increased contributions … you starting to get the picture …stevie wonder could see it. all they do is raise taxes and spend more….did it for 14 years now 15 when will you wake up

  7. Sandman says:

    This is madness. Pensions are based on contributions. How is it fair to take some people’s hard-earned contributions to give to others, some of whom chose not to work so hard in life.

  8. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Government will 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.”

    Ok, but who will then pick up the majority of the contributions?

  9. trump deporter says:

    Leave what little money the people have.
    How about a PROGRESSIVE bus system.

  10. Jus' Askin' says:

    I will say 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!!!

  11. PANGAEA says:


    I call this stop and think

    Bermuda over night will suffer the impact of the recent” TRADE WAR” with the East and West countries, the auto industry here will be the first to go.

    Tourism will suffer !

    Bermuda can be” Big Business” if we choose to manage it that way.

    We could also reduce social insurance claims and empty our prisons .

    We should be able to buy a car or buy a can of paint at 9.30 pm. it called evening shoping.

    We are running with two economies in Bermuda it is called the ” Two Bermudas” you can empoloy this system any way you like, some call it “Different stroks for different folks”. There is a price war going on here in Bermuda which is getting out of hand ,prices are set to extract more from the haves where the less fortunate go hungry, and we know who can you blame.

    Old idears are just that, they are old!

    Why did $40,000 go woosh ,whatwere the benifits ? did 100 children go hungry to pay that bill ?

    There is the more prosporouse summer economy, where virtualy every one has a job and the less prosporouse winter economy when fewer people are working there by generating less income , yet the tax burden remains the same through out the entire year. There peoiple are livibf on savings ans S.A.

    Our import duty tax system 20 % + place sanctions on our bigest trading prartners.

    Up front taxation is also on food we put on the table.

    Supermarkets throw away tons of duty paid spoiled food , people only buy what they can afford and there is is the waste.

    May be we should get into pig and duck farming.

    We are managing our affairs the same way we did 70 years ago, yet we claim to be progressive.

    Bermuda has got to learn how to become more flexible especially when it comes to money and the use of time.

    Our Hospital and our Police service and BELCo. all manage quite well on flexitime, yet the rest of Bermuda rambles on on with the same 9 to 5 old routine .

    Our the 8 hour day is archaic

    With flexi time we will be able to creat more job oppertunities and solve the un employment crisis and also releive to morning and evening trafic congestion.

    Bermuda needs to divide its day into three shifts. Not every body wants a day job

    We are open for business or we are not !

  12. PANGAEA says:


  13. frank says:

    jus’asking you are so right
    let people control their own money
    by the way are we getting a pension increase in august or not
    Burt did not clearly say

  14. I have read the above comments:

    After ALL of the OBA garbage and trash hurled and slapped in the faces of Bermudians, small wonder that there are complaints about much.
    All Bermudians must be aware and keep that raw awareness alive concernng the filth and dirt Dunkley and his OBA band flung at Bermudians , WITH NO CONSULTATION!!

    • A bit melodramatic are we? says:

      My dear straightforward—lest we forget how our beloved Island got into this mess to begin with?
      it wasn’t the last OBA administration-but rather the previous PLP adminsitration–let’s not conveniently forget the facts to recast a hollow narrative.