KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and other ministry officials will be meeting with individuals employed in the tourism sector, to discuss plans for the introduction of the much-anticipated Tourism Workers' Pension Scheme.
“I am personally inviting all persons employed within the sector to join us for these very important seminars where we will provide information on how the pensions plan is expected to operate and how it will benefit you,” said Bartlett.
The first meeting is scheduled to take place in Montego Bay on Friday, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Individuals are being encouraged to attend one of the two sessions, 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The meeting marks part of a series of awareness and sensitisation seminars to take place before the programme is implemented.
“Our tourism workers, like all workers, ought to be rewarded for their dedication and should feel as if they are truly benefiting from the sector. I am therefore pleased to announce that arrangements for the introduction of the Tourism Workers' Pensions Scheme have made tremendous progress,” said Bartlett in a release from his ministry.
The fund is expected to benefit some 90,000 individuals employed in the tourism industry, with $1 billion being provided by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) over a five-year period. People who became part of the pension plan, even those who are over 50, will still be able to get a benefit, a minimum of $200,000 per year.
Bartlett is encouraging tourism workers who are interested in obtaining benefits under the scheme, to read every line of any literature they receive in order for them to make the best selection. He said the plans that will be on offer will allow workers to move around within the industry, taking their benefits, without being penalised or losing any of their contributions.
The implementation of the scheme forms part of ongoing efforts to enhance the well-being of tourism workers.
“I reaffirm my commitment to enhancing the welfare of all categories of tourism workers. It is my intention to translate my commitment into action by rolling out a comprehensive Tourism Worker Welfare Programme which will have two main components: A Pension Scheme for Tourism Workers & Housing for Tourism Workers,” said the minister.
Other meetings are being organised for Portland, Kingston, Ocho Rios, Negril and St Elizabeth. Dates and locations for these are to be announced at a later date.