NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Labour Director John Pinder believes the government, in an effort to help save the National Insurance Board, should give people the option to retire at 67.
The latest actuarial report on the NIB, like previous ones, recommends that the retirement age be increased from 65 to 67 to enhance the sustainability of the fund.
However, the report says the increase should be planned over time and increased gradually so as to not affect the current population that is close to retirement and expecting specific benefits.
Discussion about increasing the retirement age comes amid continued warnings that action must be taken so the NIB fund is not depleted.
Pinder believes an increase in the retirement age should be considered now, insisting it would be palatable to many Bahamians if it is not compulsory.
“My opinion on that is this I think people should be given an option as to whether they want to go to 67 or not,” he said.
“There are some persons in the public service who would have gotten a mortgage late in life and sometimes at the age of 65 they still have a year or two on their mortgage.
“To go to 67 may be a plus for them, they may appreciate that. I don’t think you can make it mandatory to go to 67, I think you can make it an option for people to go to 67.
“Sixty-seven ain’t old no more. Fifteen, 20 years ago 67 was old, but that ain old no more.
“There’s a number of very sharp, intelligent 67-year-olds who are still in the right frame of mind and still make a valuable contribution to this country and organizations.
“I believe to be honest with you, 50 percent of people who round that age who have not, depending on whether they work in the public sector or the hotel industry where they have an investment secured to help them with their pension, wouldn’t mind working until 67.
“I think there should be a census done on it. People who may find themselves in financial stress two years after retirement should be given that option.”