BUDGET 2024: Old age pension goes up to $36,000; public assistance now $19,000


Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh Monday announced an increase in the old-age pension to $36,000.

This will take effect with January payments and will benefit 76,000 persons.

Speaking during his presentation of the 2024 budget, Dr. Singh announced that the measure will provide $2.7 billion in additional disposable income to pensioners.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister also announced that the monthly public assistance payment, which is provided to vulnerable persons, will be increased to $19,000. This move is expected to provide about $1.2 billion in additional disposable income to about 35,000 people.

For the first time too, other measures to support vulnerable groups were announced.

A $3,000 voucher for eye tests will be provided to over 205,000 school children and 76,000 pensions. This new support should cost about $840 million. For those who require spectacles, a $15,000 voucher will be provided.

Additionally, the government will provide an $8,000 voucher to women aged 21 to 65 to help meet the cost of cervical cancer testing.

The Finance Minister also announced that the minimum National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pension has been increased from $35,000 monthly to $43,075. Over 27,000 people are expected to benefit from this move.

The survivor’s pension, which is payable to the deceased of an insured person, should also be increased from $17,500 to $21,537. And an invalidity pension, paid to an insured person who is incapable of work otherwise than as a result of employment injury, is being increased from $35,000 to $43,075.

The government is also considering a one-off grant for NIS contributors who have reached the age of 60 (when they can start receiving pensions) but have not met their minimum requirement of 750 contributions.

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