Tourism stakeholders welcome pension scheme

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett (left) greets a member of the Red Cap Porters Association during a function at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay earlier this year.

Several stakeholders have welcomed the impending implementation of the Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme by the Government.

The initiative, being piloted by the Ministry of Tourism, is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation, and will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers.

It will cover all workers, aged 18 to 59, whether permanent, contract or self-employed. Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older. The scheme is programmed for rollout in 2020.

“Good days for the little man.”

— Ocho Rios craft trader Milton Scott

A number of persons, including raftsmen, airport bag handlers, and contract workers, who have spent most of their lives working in the industry, say the scheme is nothing short of “historic” while calling it a victory for work relations in Jamaica.

Ocho Rios craft trader Milton Scott says he was initially skeptical when the Scheme was first proposed, noting “I thought it was wishful thinking.” However, he now anticipates that the scheme’s introduction will make a big difference, and mark the start of “good days for the little man”.

For his part, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett describes the pension scheme as a “signature accomplishment” for the industry, and general work relations in Jamaica.