NASSAU, Bahamas, Friday April 29, 2016 – Countries within the region are strategizing ways to ensure sustainability of their respective social security schemes.
Officials are meeting in the Bahamas for the 27th CARICOM Heads of Social Security Meeting and they are exploring the global trends in social security and how these fit within the region, and at a national level.
“Caribbean nations must find their own unique method to adopt the innovative strategies in management and administration that help to improve communications with stakeholders and citizen engagement, expand benefits, improve compliance levels and strengthen their governance structures; all while ensuring the sustainability of their national insurance funds,” the Bahamas’ Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson said at the meeting which ends today.
He noted that in his country, the National Insurance Fund (NIF) has reserves of approximately $1.8 billion, and it plays a critical role in the Bahamian economy.
“In fact, in many instances, NIB has invested in a number of infrastructural projects and private sector equity offerings as a means of stimulating economic activity and ultimately building our economy,” Gibson said.
He also disclosed that NIB has reached a significant milestone in its history – the implementation of a state-of-the-art Insurance Administration System software, which will improve its services to the public.
The Bahamas is also introducing an NIB Smart Card, which contains encrypted information for the insured, has other security features to prevent fraud, and is the gateway to the government’s proposed National Health Insurance plan.