Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2015. 12:23 pm CST.
Tuesday, October 13th 2015. Richard Harrison: The Belize Social Security Board was established on June 1, 1981; shortly before Independence, with a loan of $50,000 from the Government of Belize and 26 employees.
In 2003, contributions were $41m and investment income was $15m; with benefits paid of $28.6m and operating expenses of $13.8m; resulting in income-over-expenditure of $14.6m and change-in-reserve of $251.5m.
In 2012, the last annual report published in their website, contributions were $64.5m and investment income $11.74m; with benefits paid of $60.2m and operating expenses of $19.6m; resulting in income-over-expenditures of $11.5m and change-in-reserve of $437.4m.
At the minimum contribution of BZ$13.50 per week, the contributions of $64.5m represents only 91,880 contributors, while the population between ages 15-64 totaled 191,491, or a total capture rate of 48% of the employable work force, or 64% of the employed work force of 144,000.
In 2003, private sector loans amounted to $59.6m, while in 2012 only $53.84m was reported under this category.
In 2003, total investments in private sector loans, mortgages and housing and real estate totaled $242.2m, which grew to $368.1m by 2012.
In 2003, the investment committee was comprised of Ms Lourdes Smith (Chair), Mr. Michael Polonio (Deputy chair, employers rep), Ms Narda Garcia (CEO), Mr. Hilly Martinez (Govt. rep), Mr. Antonio Gonzalez (insured persons rep) and Mr. Rolando Zetina (CFO).
The investment committee is currently comprised of Mr. Nestor Vasquez (Chair), Mr. Emil Mena (Employers rep), Ms Lorelei Westby (NTUCB rep), Mr. Norman Deuck (Govt rep), Mr. Richard Flowers (CEO) and Ms Irene Cruz (Board secretary).
The workers of Belize need to take special and keen interest in the affairs of the BSSB, if they expect to get fair returns from their savings in contributions over the years. All the workers unions, farmers associations and credit unions should get together to contribute towards financing an independent management and financial audit of the Belize Social Security Board, which requires the contracted party to conduct analysis and make recommendations on how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this important institution OWNED by all the workers of Belize.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Belize Media Group.
This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.
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