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Increase in Social Security contribution due in January delayed to April

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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2021. 9:55 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: A one percent increase in contributions to Social Security has been delayed by a Government order to April of 2022.

The increase had been due on New Year’s Day, 2022, which compounded with pay cuts in the public and private sector would have made “maaga season” that much harder.

But delayed does not mean denied, according to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance John Briceño, who told reporters on Monday that the increase is still very much necessary, in fact urgent.

“The truth of the matter is that the Social Security funds were drying out, we are reaching at a point called equilibrium. It simply means that every dollar you collect you are paying out a dollar and we have to make sure that we could have enough in reserves, in the fund so that when you retire, you’d be able to get something. It is then we decided that okay we will proceed with the 1% and then decided to take one step even further to be able to move it to April at the start of the fiscal year,” the Prime Minister explained, adding that it was a Cabinet decision after consultation with the private sector, labour, and employers.

The Prime Minister continued that “The important part of what Social Security is doing is increasing the bands of the amount that you can insure your earnings and so I think it’s going to go up as much as $500 a month and that will help a lot of public officers, a lot of people in the private sector that are earning $2,000 or more a month that they will be able to have even a bigger retirement payment when that time comes.”

And to suggestions that Belmopan looks wishy-washy in implementing decisions – the Ministry of Health backing away from a soft mandate on vaccines and a hard mandate for vaccination of public officers just last week, for example – the Prime Minister said it was about being responsible: “See, that’s the problem when you manage from a point of arrogance that you know everything. We can make certain decisions and then after that when we reflect and discuss with other people realize that maybe we should push it back, maybe we should tweak and change it. That’s what a good government is about, about listening and trying to come with the right formula, with the right positions, with the right actions that need to be taken. So it’s not going to be the last time that we are going to change our minds.”

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