Public servants who sign up for the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) programme should see it reflected in their paycheques from this month.
Senior Economic Advisor Dr Kevin Greenidge told Barbados TODAY that while they were still compiling information from workers who expressed interest in BOSS, deductions would begin this month for those who registered.
However, he said because that process was not yet complete he was unable to give a figure as to how many people had signed onto the programme.
“We are at the stage where we are still compiling the data that came in from the public workers for BOSS so I really can’t give any specific numbers right now,” Dr Greenidge said.
“But it will start from this month so those public workers who opt for it will see part of their salary as a bond from this month and for those who did not opt for it they will just get their cash as usual.”
President of the National Union of Public Workers’ (NUPW) Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY he expected a significant percentage of the union’s membership to sign up for the programme.
He said while he had no data to support that belief, his view was based on the strong support the programme received during meetings with members.
The NUPW is the country’s largest public sector union and has a membership of between 8000 and 9000 people.
“We don’t have any data on how many of our members would have actually signed up. We can only give you an idea based on the interest of the members that would have attended our meetings,” McDowall said.
“So based on the members that attended our meetings there was an overwhelming support for persons to participate in the BOSS programme.”
The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) had previously indicated that over 90 per cent of its membership was interested in signing up for the programme.
The BOSS was unveiled by Prime Minister Mia Mottley two months ago. It will give workers in the public sector whose monthly net earnings are more than $3000 the option of converting between seven per cent to as much as 17 per cent of their monthly income to bonds.
Workers who earn less than $3000 also have the option to invest in bonds if they choose, while those who are in a position to pay more can also do so.
However, public servants who opt out of the programme and who choose to have their full salaries will be allowed to do so.
The Government bonds will mature in four years and interest will be paid at five per cent per annum.
Private sector workers, as well as corporate and financial institutions, will also have an opportunity to invest in the programme by purchasing the remaining bonds not snapped up by public servants.
It is projected that BOSS will create just over $100 million in fiscal space for capital spending. [email protected]
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