KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 13, CMC – Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, will on Friday meet with individuals employed in the tourism sector to discuss plans for the introduction of the much-anticipated Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme (TWPS), according to an official statement issued here.
Bartlett is quoted in the statement released by the Ministry of Tourism as indicating that he is “personally inviting all persons employed within the sector to join us for these very important seminars where we will provide information on how the pensions plan is expected to operate and how it will benefit you”.
he first meeting is scheduled to take place in Montego Bay on Friday and it marks part of a series of awareness and sensitisation seminars to take place before the programme is implemented.
“Our tourism workers, like all workers, ought to be rewarded for their dedication and should feel as if they are truly benefiting from the sector. I am therefore pleased to announce that arrangements for the introduction of the Tourism Workers’ Pensions Scheme have made tremendous progress,” said Bartlett.
The fund is expected to benefit an estimated 90,000 individuals employed in the tourism industry, with one billion dollars (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) being provided by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) over a five-year period.
The statement noted that people who became part of the pension plan, even those who are over 50, will still be able to get a benefit, a minimum of J$200,000 per year.
Bartlett said he was encouraging tourism workers who are interested in obtaining benefits under the scheme, to read every line of any literature they receive in order for them to make the best selection.
He said the plans that will be on offer will allow workers to move around within the industry, taking their benefits, without being penalised or losing any of their contributions.
“I reaffirm my commitment to enhancing the welfare of all categories of tourism workers. It is my intention to translate my commitment into action by rolling out a comprehensive Tourism Worker Welfare Programme which will have two main components: A Pension Scheme for Tourism Workers & Housing for Tourism Workers,” Bartlett said.
The Ministry of Tourism said the dates for the other meetings across the island will be disclosed at a later date.