Clearly disappointed by the paucity of Vincentian nationals in the Diaspora who are taking advantage of the “generous” pension scheme at the National Insurance Services (NIS), NIS Deputy Director Dr. Mineva Glasgow has appealed to her compatriots overseas to “get on board” by joining the Voluntary Contribution Plan.
In addressing a seminar on the NIS plan last Thursday, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, organized by the Brooklyn-based Club St. Vincent, Inc., Glasgow stressed that the program offers “an innovative option, especially for undocumented Vincentians who live in the Diaspora but who are unable to contribute to social security because of their status.”
Glasgow, who has a Ph. D in Business Administration reminded them that by contributing at home, “you are making provisions for your retirement since you are certain to receive a pension on the attainment of pensionable age.”
She also urged documented Vincentians to “get involved in the system, because it is a means of enhancing your future economic security,” adding that “one never knows what the future holds.
“Proper retirement planning is an integral part of your preferred future,” Glasgow stressed at the seminar, the purpose of which was to sensitize stakeholders on the reform measures implemented by the NIS, to respect plan participants’ right to information on benefits due to them and contributions paid by them, and to encourage Vincentians in the Diaspora to become members of the NIS.
In joining the Voluntary Contribution Plan, Glasgow said one must be a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and resides overseas, and must pay the minimum of weekly contributions before becoming eligible to receive a pension.
At the same time, she said prospective contributors can choose the form of payment suitable to their present income.
She said the NIS also offers survivor’s benefits and a lump sum funeral grant of $4525.00.
Brooklyn resident Cheryl George, who first joined the Voluntary Contribution Plan over 12 years ago, said she is already benefiting from the program.
“I’m enjoying it,” she told seminar participants, referring to the retirement benefits. “I don’t regret it.”
Voluntary Contributions forms are available on www.nissv