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NIS contributions may have to be increased
There are some aspects of the CSO census on which I would like to comment. Firstly, the fact that the population over 60 years old has now increased to nine per cent. This is significant because just 12 years ago, in 2000, this percentage was only 7.1 per cent. This means there has been a significant increase in this “older” segment of the population in this period relative to the total.
In the short- and medium-term this would impact the NIB’s ability to fund the pension payout to these “retired” customers, because as more and more people become older it means the younger working people have to contribute more to the NIS scheme to fund these retiree payouts.
This would suggest the Government needs to increase the NIS monthly contributions to this fund, as well as send up the retirement age to 65 to have longer years of contribution and so that the fund could be built up.
Secondly, in the long-term, however, this trend will lead to a structural deficiency in our GDP and competitiveness. If you review the population dispersions of Japan which has an escalating older population, economists claim this has contributed to this country’s inability to recover from its stagflation because, with fewer younger people to buy houses and drive consumption in other areas, it means the economy is slowly collapsing.
This claim, by extension, would also be true even of the mighty China, because with it’s one-child policy, in another 20 years this significant reduction in younger people will hurt their production platform which has driven the country’s revenue and profitability.
How long do you think it would take for the same to start happening here? Especially if you review the three tiers of our population—15 to 19; ten to 14; and zero to four—they represent the foundation of our population structure, and all three of these groups/tiers are shrinking.
I would recommend we change our immigration policy to encourage as many professional Caribbean families to take up residence in T&T and so contribute to our economy and population increase!
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