Contributory Pensions Amendment Act 2008

The following has been passed on to me as a copy of the proposed amendments to the Contributory Pensions Act.  This amendment will be discussed in a special session of Parliament on Wednesday July 9th 2008.  I have posted a copy of it here in hopes of encouraging feedback from the public prior to the debate in parliament in hopes that some of our legislators shall read such feedback and gain an idea of the benefits of introducing a more open and transparent process for the creation and modification of our legislation.

See the amendment act in full after the jump.   Please note it was OCR’d so there may be inadvertant mistakes in the character recognition.

A BILL

entitled

CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONS AMENDMENT ACT 2008

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend thef,Contributory Pensions

Act 1970;                                                                                  .’

Be it enacted by The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Short title

1 This Act, which amends the Contributory Pensions Act 1970 (the "principal Act"), may be cited as the Contributory Pensions Amendment Act 2008.

Amends section 1

            Section 1 of the principal Act is amended-

(a) by adding the following definition in its appropriate alphabetical order-

" "estate representative" means the executor, original or by representation, or administrator for the time being of the deceased person;";

(b) by repealing the definition of " "insurance card" and "insurance stamp" "; and

(e) by repealing the definition of "school leaving age" and substituting the following-

"school leaving age" means-

(a) 18; or

                                             (b)     if a person is still a full time student at an educational institution after 18 the earlier of-

                                                      (i]             the person’s age at the termination or completion of their studies; or

                                                      (ii)           26."; and

(d) by repealing subsection (3) and replacing it with the following-

"(3) Notwithstanding the definition of "employed person", where a person is a full-time student and employed on a Saturday or a public holiday or a period of vacation, including a half-term holiday then, for the purposes of such employment and this Act that person is deemed not to be an employed person and accordingly the Minister shall, for the duration of such emplpyment, exempt that person and that employer f1r;:n the provisions of this Act relating to contributions,",’

Amends section 4

3              Section 4 of the principal Act is amended by adding next after

subsection (61 the following-

"(7) Every employer liable to pay any contribution on behalf of an employed person under subsection (2) shall for every contribution week for which he is liable to pay a contribution in respect of an employed person, pay the contribution not later than the last working day of the following month.".

Repeals and replaces section 8

4              Section 8 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced with the

following-

"Social insurance number and account schedules

                8        (1) A social insurance number shall-

(a] be provided by the Government without charge for each insured person, unless with the approval of the Director other arrangements have been made; and

(b) be valid for the life of the insured person.

(2) The Director shall prepare monthly account schedules in such a manner as the Minister of Finance may direct.

(3) Every person entering insurable employment shall register with the Director and shall produce such documents and furnish such information as the Director may require for the purpose of issuing a social insurance number.

(4) Every person shall-

(a) if they are an employed person, provide a social insurance number to the employer who is liable to pay the weekly contribution in respect of them for the relevant contribution week;

(b) if they are a self-employed person, register with the Director within 7 days of becoming a self­employed person on such forms as the Director may prescribe;

(c) if they are at any time not employed, report and provide such information, to the Director on any such form as the Director!r?ay prescribe; and

(d) for every contribution week for which they are liable to pay a contribution as a self-employed person, pay the contribution not later than the last working day of the following month.

(5) Every employer liable to pay any contribution In respect of an employed person shall-

(a) immediately after the employment begins or becomes insurable, obtain a Social Insurance Number from the employed person or from the Director;

(b) if the insured person requests confirmation of paid contributions, provide a written record of contributions paid on behalf of the employee;

(e) when the employment comes to an end, report and provide such information to the Director on such form as the Director may prescribe; and

(d) for every contribution week for which he is liable to pay a contribution in respect of an employed person, pay the contribution not later than the last working day of the following month.

(6) Notwithstanding subsections (4) and (5), the Director may make special arrangements with any employer for the

purpose of those subsections and any such arrangement shall have effect accordingly as if set out in this Act.".

Amends section 12

5 Section 12(2l(a) of the principal Act is amended by deleting the words "insurance card" and substituting the words "contribution record".

Amends section 16

6              Section 16 of the principal Act is amended-

(a] by repealing subsection (1) and replacing it with the following-

"(1) A widow shall be entitled to a widow’s allowance if at the date of her husband’s death he satisfied the relevant contributions conditions."; and

(b) by repealing subsection (4) and replacing it with the

                                following-

"(4) Where a widow would otherwise cea~e to be entitled to a widow’s allowance at a time when .she has care of a child who is under school leaving age, the period shall be extended until that child or the younger or youngest of such children reaches school leaving age.".

Amends section 17

7              Section 17 of the principal Act is amended-

(a) by deleting the section heading and substituting the section heading "Other Gratuities";

(b) by renumbering section 17 as section 15A;

(c) by inserting after subsection (1) the following su bsections-

"[La] Where a person dies before becoming entitled to a pension under this Act and leaves no widow but Leaves a child or children under the age of 18 an amount equal to the total value of all contributions paid by or in respect of that person shall be paid to the child or paid equally between the children.

(1 b) Where a person dies before becoming entitled to a pension under this Act and leaves no widow or no child under the age of 18 an amount equal to the total of all contributions paid by or in respect of that person

shall be paid to the contributor’s estate representative."; and

(d) by adding next after subsection (2) the following subsections-

"(3) Notwithstanding subsection (la), where a person dies under the circumstances under which a gratuity under this Act is payable to their estate representative, if there is no such estate representative, the gratuity shall remain in the Fund.

                                    (4)       The whole or part of a gratuity paid to a child

under subsection (la) may be paid to the legal guardian of that child or such person as the Director considers fit and proper to apply the gratuity for the benefit of the child.".

Amends section 17 A                                                           t

8              Section 17 A of the principal Act is amen3"ed-

(a) in subsection (lA)-

                                [i]             by deleting paragraphs (a) and (b); and

                                (ii)            by renumbering paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) as paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) respectively; and

(b) by deleting subsection (IB).

Amends section 20

9              Section 20 of the principal Act is amended by repealing

subsection (2) and replacing it with the following-

"(2) Every claim shall be made to the Director within 13 weeks after the day on which the benefit is claimed, but the Director may extend the 13 week period if the claimant demonstrates to the Director’s satisfaction that there was good cause for the delay.".

Amends section 30

10            Section 30 of the principal Act is amended-

(a) by repealing subsection (1) and replacing it with the following-

"(11 Any person commits an offence who, for the purpose of obtaining any benefit or other payment under

this Act, whether for himself or some other person, or for any purpose connected with this Act-

(al knowingly makes any false statement or false representation; or

[b] produces or furnishes, or causes or knowingly allows to be produced or furnished, any document or information which he knows to be false in a material particular:

                    Punishment                                        on summary conviction:

                    imprisonment                                  for 6 months or a fine not

exceeding $10,000 or both such imprisonment and fine.".

[b] in subsection (2)-

by deleting the words "any contribution" where they appear and substituting the word/:; "every

                      contribution"; and                                                  ‘1/

by deleting the words "of $250" and substituting

                      the words "not exceeding $1,000";                         .

(c) in subsection (3) by deleting the words "of $250" and substituting the words "not exceeding $10,000";

(i)

(ii)

(d) in subsection (4) by deleting the reference "$250" and substituting the words "$1,000 per offence";

[e] in subsection (5) by deleting the reference "$250" and substituting the words "not less than $2,500";

(f) in subsection (6) by deleting the words "of $250" and substituting the words "not exceeding $10,000"; and

(g) by repealing subsection (7) and replacing it with the following-

"(7) Where an employer deducts an employee’s contribution payable under this Act from the employee’s salary, wages or other remuneration and fails or neglects to pay such deducted funds to the Department of Social Insurance, he commits an offence:

Punishment on summary conviction: a fine of $1,000 for each offence.".


Consequential Amendment

11           The Contributory Pensions (Defacement of Insurance Cards)

Regulations 1969 are repealed.

Commencement

12           The provisions of this Act shall come into operation on such day

or days as are appointed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.


CONTRIBUTORY PENSIONS AMENDMENT BILL 2008

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Contributory Pensions Act 1970 to reflect the Department of Social Insurance’s current practices, to increase fines under the Act and to extend certain benefits payable under the Act.

Clause 1 of the Bill makes provision for the short title of the Bill. Clause 2 of the Bill adds the definition of "estate representative" and expands the definition of "school leaving age". Clause 2 also deletes the definition of "insurance card and insurance stamp" and exempts full­time students from having to pay social insurance while they are employed on Saturday’s and during school vacations.

Clause 3 of the Bill provides the time frame an employer has to

pay a contribution on behalf of an employee.                       IJ

(/

Clause 4 amends section 8 of the Act providing for the issuance of a social insurance number, the length ‘of its validity and the preparation of the monthly account schedule. Clause 4 also provides guidelines for an employer to follow regarding the payment of an employee’s social insurance contribution.

Clause 5 of the Bill makes a minor amendment by removing the reference to "insurance card".

Clause 6 of the Bill makes provision for a widow’s entitlement to an allowance under the Act. Clause 6 also extends the term in which a widow will be paid the allowance.

Clause 7 of the Bill provides for the payment of gratuities to a contributor’s child and widow and to an estate representative. Clause 7 also provides for contributions to remain in the Pension Fund when there is no child, widow or estate representative.

Clause 8 of the Bill relaxes the requirement of a person with a physical or mental disability having to wait for 52 weeks before they are allowed to receive a contributory disability benefit.

Clause 9 of the Bill removes the 13-week period in which a claim made under the Act can accrue.

Clause 10 of the Bill provides for increases in the fines under the

Act.

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