Making sense of the NIS debate

Dear Editor,
I have been trying hard to get a clear understanding of the current debate about NIS investments, and I thought of taking a step by step approach to see how the logic spins out:

1. The resignation of the Chairman of the NIS early in 2009 was rejected by the President.
2. Emerging from the now infamous Clico debacle is information of the billions ($6.5) invested in Clico by NIS.
3. The President gives assurances regarding Clico’s ability to financially assuage the concerns of policyholders.
4. The Minister of Finance speaks to Parliament and soothes MPs by quoting the gradual reduction in NIS investment in Clico, over the last few years.

5. The President complains of the NIS investment in Clico as risky.
6. The‘re-instated’ Chairman of the NIS responds that NIS ‘Clico’ investments were more remunerative than ‘non-Clico’ investments.  He adverts to NIS annual reports, the latest of 2006 already laid in Parliament.  He assures that any suggestion that the NIS Pension Scheme is threatened is totally erroneous.

The above recital would appear to suggest that the report submitted in 2008 by the NIS Reform Committee specifically highlighting the fact that the NIS Pension Scheme as currently financed would not be sustainable after 2015, or thereabouts, had not been read by any of the abovenamed officials.

Not so.  In fact one reaction from the Chairman at the time was a discourse on the pensionable age, to which the Minister of Labour, Human Services and Social Security contributed his insistence that he would not support raising the pensionable age from fifty-five years.

Who knows, current developments may well provide opportunity for urgent serious reflections.
Additionally, on review of the foregoing, does one get the impression that all the major decision-makers in this apparent NIS meltdown are exempt from being held accountable?

What we are left with in the meantime, is misrepresentation, obfuscation and diversion.
Yours faithfully,
Carl Abrahams

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