Director of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Ian Carrington, has reassured Barbadians that pension cheques should be ready by the end of next week.
In an interview this afternoon at NIS headquarters in the Frank Walcott Building, Mr. Carrington confirmed that the source of the delay in the payment of NIS benefits, including pensions, was indeed a hardware problem, and said that the team at NIS was working hard to rectify the issue.
???We are hopeful that if everything goes well this weekend, that [pensions] will be in the post by Friday [October 10],??? he stated.
The Director explained that the hardware malfunction stemmed from the failure of a backup power supply for the production servers in the department.
???That [power] supply is a unique piece of equipment that has to be manufactured to fit that specific number of servers. We have been able to get the supplier to configure for us the power supply and as of today, I can advise you that it is in Atlanta, to arrive in Barbados by this weekend.???
Mr. Carrington also took the opportunity to address rumours of cash flow problems at the NIS, and directed persons to the department???s website, www.nis.gov.bb.
???Barbadians can go to our website and look at the latest actuary review. That review essentially indicates that at our current level of reserves, the funds will be depleted somewhere between 2045 and 2056, and as of August 2014, the National Insurance Fund has reserves of 4.2 billion dollars. As it stands today, the contributions we are receiving are sufficient to meet the benefit payments,??? he stressed.
The NIS Director empathised with members of the public, noting that employees at the NIS and their families were also being affected by this malfunction.
???My mother and father are pensioners; most of the staff members at NIS have some relatives who are pensioners. Traditionally, we deliver [pensions] at least a week early, in this situation we are going to be a few days late and we are doing our very best to have the problem solved in the shortest possible time,??? he said.