Tourism Workers’ Pension Fund ready for applications

TOURISM Minister Edmund Bartlett says that tourism sector employers will start contributing to the new Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme (TWPS) in January 2023, at a rate of five per cent per annum.

He told the House of Representatives Tuesday, as he closed the 2020/12 Sectoral Debate, that the fund administrator, Guardian Life, is now in a position to accept applications, which may be done virtually, or in person.

“My ministry recognises the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to employers in the tourism sector and, in light of this, we have decided to revisit the timeline for the start of employer contributions. Employers will commence contributions in January 2023 at a rate of five per cent per annum. We will be tabling the necessary legislative amendments in short order to facilitate this investment,” he said.

He said that another key update, as the economy begins to show signs of recovering “faster, stronger and better”, is the recent groundbreaking for Sandals Dunn’s River, which will create thousands of new jobs, thereby providing well-needed employment for many tourism workers who have been furloughed, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He said that, in addition to providing additional jobs, along the tourism value chain, it entails “a well-needed economic boost in these challenging times”.

Bartlett said that despite signs of increasingly serious concussions facing the industry, his ministry and its public bodies have remained focused on laying “a firm foundation to enable the tourism sector to thrive in the post-COVID-19 era.

“This objective has guided several strategic steps taken since I last updated this Honourable House on our efforts to rebuild the industry, when I opened the Sectoral Debate in April,” he said.

“I am pleased to share that there have been many positive developments since then that are certainly worth highlighting, as I bring the curtains down on what has truly been a very stimulating, insightful and spirited Sectoral Debate,” he added.

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