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Changes coming to UWI staff pension, health schemes

Professor Archibald McDonald
 
Far-reaching changes are coming to the pension and health schemes of staff members at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona.
 
Principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, has confirmed that there is a move in progress which could result in reduced assistance to staff  coming from the University.
 
The changes are coming based on the reported high cost of  sustaining the pension schemes, based on the rate of  supplementation done by the UWI.
 
Professor McDonald explained that the current policy was implemented several years ago and was very generous to staff members, where the University would pay a significant amount to supplement the pension contribution of employees to two-thirds of their salary.
 
However, the changing economic climate and longer life spans due to lifestyle changes have caused the programme to become less beneficial.
 
"It's not sustainable and the actuaries have done the projections.... It is something which is going to continue to affect the university going forward. We can't generate enough revenues to keep up with the effects of the supplementation," Professor McDonald asserted. 
 
With regards to the health scheme, the UWI principal said the university's health care benefits are "overly generous" and "that too has to be addressed." 
 
Professor McDonald, who was speaking Thursday on RJR's Beyond The Headlines, has said acknowledged that workers will not be willing to let go of the many benefits they receive, but said the university is making a plan that will serve the interest of all parties involved. 
 
"What we have to do is use innovation to put in place a mechanism for which, instead of getting that money directly from the university, (pensioners) get it from an arrangement with private investors so that they are not shortchanged," he noted. 
 


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