Taking a solid step forward in the right direction is always a good feeling. For the public service, one such step occurred on 14th April, when the Public Service Pensions Law, 1999 came into effect, repealing and replacing the law that had governed the Public Service Pensions Plan since 1964.
Provisions in the former law were no longer in keeping with contemporary needs and practices. Accordingly the new legislation introduced a defined contribution plan for new participants, those who join the plan as of 1st January 2000, thereby adding to the defined benefit plan which continues for all existing participants.
There are also key features and clearly defined improvements under the current Pensions Law. Pensions are now portable; the plan offers immediate vesting; children's benefits are enhanced, and participants are now fully informed about benefits.
Above all, options are clear-cut and with the Public Service Pensions Board being clearly established as the governing authority for public sector pension plans, the administrative process runs with greater smoothness and efficiency.
Much gratitude is extended to the Pensions Law Review Committee for producing a piece of legislation of which as public servants, we may all be proud. Provisions are more equitable, are in keeping with modem practice, and bring a deserved level of security to those who labour for their country.