Benefits reform: all options will be considered

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

  • by Adrian Darbyshire

All options will be considered as part of a major review of the island’s benefits system – but the results won’t be published until next summer.

Liberal Vannin leader Peter Karran (Onchan) quizzed Treasury Minister Eddie Teare in Tynwald over possible reform of the state pension and National Insurance.

He asked Mr Teare what his policy is on developing an old age pension based on the number of years worked instead of age, waiving the upper limit of NI contributions for employees and continuing NI contributions by those working full-time who are over pension age.

The Minister replied: ‘As the member will be aware, the Department of Social Care and the Treasury are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the Social Security Benefits and National Insurance Scheme operated in the island.

‘This review will examine all aspects of the current Scheme, including how entitlement to benefits will rise and what level of National Insurance contributions will be required to maintain the long-term affordability of benefits funded from the Manx National Insurance Fund.

‘This report will be published in the summer of 2014 and members will be given the opportunity to debate its recommendations at that time. I therefore feel that it would not be appropriate at this stage to pre-empt what the recommendations might be.’

But he added: ‘However, what I would say is that all options are being considered, and should any member have any questions concerning the review, they are welcome to speak to either myself or the officers concerned from Treasury, and my colleagues in the Department of Social Care.’

Mr Karran said: ‘The present 30 years’ contributions system in the UK just does not stack up as a responsible policy as far as the future provisions as far as pensions are concerned. Will that be part of any equation?’

Mr Teare replied: ‘There are what we regard as inconsistencies with the Scheme as currently framed, and we will take the opportunity to have a look at everything going forward.’




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