Loggers, a while ago I saw a clip on a local station of some kinda journalist bloke trying to describe what Monetary Policy is. However, while his description was technically correct, that 30 second clip was neither informative nor funny and that physically upset me.

Therefore, I’ve decided to launch TANA-NOMICS (gotta copyright that), the definitive guide to basic finance and economics concepts, because people shouldn’t feel to slit their wrists when business types start speaking.

So once a week (not naming a specific day because some of you Loggers have no chill) I will attempt to explain a business or economic concept in plain English and at a level even a 10 year old could understand because, frankly, that’s the level I operate at. Think of it as your very own, low-budget, man-on-the-street, business course where you might learn something but can’t use it for anything…kinda like GATE.

In this first edition of TANA-NOMICS we take a look at something that impacts us all. Something that affects every citizen at a very deep level and I’m not talking about Desha Rambhajan’s IG. We are referring to the National Insurance Scheme or NIS administered by the National Insurance Board (NIB).

Now I’m sure everyone knows that NIS is the $3,000 monthly pension granny does use to torture you when she make you carry her to market on a Sunday, it’s also the $7,500 funeral grant payment to help you pay for maybe two Hibiscus bouquets and the $3,750 maternity grant to help buy a 2 days worth of Pampers and a tin of Nestum.

But how many of you know that the NIS has 23 benefits you can access?? Yup 23, from Employment Injury to Survivor’s Benefit. Now you need 750 weekly contributions to qualify for a pension. That works out to roughly 15 years give or take. I bet you think you could stop paying when you qualify, WRONG! Everyone pays and everyone gets the same pension regardless of the value of your contributions. It’s like a weird group project where we all get the same grade doh mind half the group does nothing but play cards in the cafeteria.

I know what you’re thinking, I don’t care about this stuff. However, you absolutely should care because here’s why, once you’re over 16 and working for someone (legally) that money coming out of your salary like clock work. As sure as West Indies will find a way to lose a match, that money leaving your paycheck.

Even more important though is the fact that the way things stand now, you’re not 100% sure to get your pension when your turn on the retirement manicou-wheel comes around. If things stay the way they are, the NIB is projected to run out of assets by 2035-36. Study dat!

The main reason is the aging population. Not enough of allyuh making babies so just now it will have more people in the country going Dimanche Gras and Soca-in-Moka than boat ride and Soaka down Chaguaramas. So who’s gonna pay for you to get your pension?

Speaking of which, a word of advice, make sure your employer is actually paying your contributions to the NIB right now. There are a lot of wotless employers taking the money from your salary and using it to throw secret pool parties. Then when you go to collect your pension the NIB bawling “dawg we ain’t get money from you since Roy Cape was a teenager”.

For a while now the NIB has been pushing for an increase in the retirement age. If they can’t get allyuh to breed more then they need to make allyuh wait a little longer to “make it rain” with that rum shop money. It’s either that or they will have to increase the rate that we pay to a point where our salary goes straight to the NIB and they give us a lil stipend every month.

So before all that happens, listen to what the NIB is saying, they might be slow but they have our interest at heart because guess what, the people there have to pay NIS and need a pension too. Finally, stay vigilant…there are people who always want to raise the minimum pension. Ask them the same question I always advocating…”who paying for that?”

So take this for what it’s worth. Feel free to inbox me with any questions or to suggest topics you want TANA-rized. Just make sure it’s easy because I not too bright, I’m no LED bulb.

TANA

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