About - Creation of the Scheme
The National Insurance Scheme, which seeks to reinforce the principle of “mutual solidarity”, recognises that Barbados’ greatest asset is its people.
Trace its birth and growth over the years here.
June 5, 1967 – Social security scheme set up in Barbados, Contributions paid by sticking stamps to contribution cards of insured persons
1978 – Stamp method replaced by direct payment, Contributions paid in cash to the National Insurance Office
January 1987 – Contribution card system replaced with Contribution Certificates and Earnings Schedules, Benefits Evolve Date Benefit
1971 – Employment injury benefit introduced
1971 – Self-employed became insurable for long-term benefits – invalidity, survivors’ and old age contributory and funeral grants
1974 – Coverage for the self-employed extended to include sickness and maternity benefits
1975 – Minimum pension introduced – $15 a week
1975 – Spouses of insured persons receive funeral grants
1977 – Age at which surviving spouse could qualify for survivors’ pension for life was reduced from 55 to 50
1981 – Rate of Sickness Benefit increased from 60% to 66 2/3% of insurable earnings
July 1981 – Unemployment scheme introduced
July 1982 – Eligible persons begin to receive unemployment benefit
1982 – National Insurance Department becomes responsible for Non-contributory Old Age pension instead of Welfare Department
1985 – Age at which surviving children could receive survivors’ pension was increased from 16 to 21 once they were students
1985 – Maternity Grant introduced
1990 – Minimum pension increased over the years to $76 a week
1991 – Rate of unemployment benefit was changed to 60% for first 10 weeks and 40% for remaining 16 weeks
2003 – The pension system was reformed providing a flexible retirement age, annual increases (indexation), and an increase in the pensionable age.
Part of the scheme
Once you are employed or self-employed, or between 16 and pensionable age, you are part of the National Insurance Scheme.
There are some exceptions though –
non citizens who are:
• heads or members of diplomatic missions (or consular officers or employees)
• employed by an international organisation of which Barbados is a member (unless you’re a domestic worker)
For a more detailed historical background including statistics and investment information, view the 50 page Historical Overview