President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) O’Neil Grant has said that after years of negotiations between the union and Government on a pension scheme for public-sector workers, both parties are “satisfied with the outcome” while talks continue to iron out lingering concerns.
Yesterday, the Upper House passed companion pension bills which will see public-sector workers making contributions of five per cent towards their pensions by 2019.
The JCSA president also said that effective April 1, 2018, those workers in the public service who have not paid pension would begin to pay two-and-a-half per cent.
“We were not able to get everything that we wanted, but we got adjustments to some things that we have been pushing for,” Grant told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday at Gordon House.
He pointed out that concerns highlighted by the unions in relation to vesting, portability and indexing would be addressed in the regulations.
Grant said that an early-retirement programme would now be offered to public-sector workers who want to retire early.
“There is an early-retirement programme that has been crafted and funded, and we expect that the invitations for persons to retire early will be sent out within a matter of weeks if not earlier,” he said.
He said the Government had also agreed not to impose a penalty for early retirement.
The JCSA is also pleased that their submission for pension to be calculated on the worker’s last salary was accepted by the Government.
Grant said the unions also got the Government to agree that persons working on a temporary basis in the public sector would be allowed to contribute to a fund, and if the worker is not appointed, he would get back his money with interest.
“And those persons who leave the service before they are vested will get back their contributions with interest,” Grant added.