BVI News

Pension scheme is ‘running the gov’t broke’

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has indicated that his government will soon take steps to change the current pension and gratuities scheme for civil servants.

Speaking on the Talking Points radio show earlier this week, the Premier said the current non-contributory scheme is “running the government broke” and must be revised as the government attempts to save money that could be used to fix failing public infrastructure.

“We have a huge unfunded liability — we pay persons’ pensions and they don’t pay anything and that in itself is unsustainable and is running the government broke,” the Premier explained. “So, eventually, we’re going to have to do a contributory pension scheme.”

He said he will be bringing the issue of the government pension scheme to the fore soon even though people may find the move scary.

The government has been talking about revising its pension scheme for some years now but no formal action has been taken to change the system.

Under the previous administration, former Premier Andrew Fahie had stated that pension reform was a high priority for his government but had to take a back seat when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

According to information from the Ministry of Finance, the government spent almost $80 million for pensions and gratuities to its employees from 2013 to 2018.


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  1. resident says:

    What the premier says makes sense but he doesn’t have the guts in my opinion to do it because he would lose votes

    Like 28
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  2. YES TO UK says:

    You said we are not broke when you spent 250,000,000
    Now you are telling that you are broke. We need to march you out of office because you don’t have a clue.

    Like 62
    Dislike 1
  3. Eldread says:

    So pensions to elderlies are running country broke, after they work hard to build the country. Greedy bill was not seen as a burden until Myron walwyn spoke of it. I guess your advise now is to raise the age of retirement do a natural attrition can take place where the elderly die out leaving their entitled pay out.

    Like 41
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  4. Madame Speaker... says:

    Who is the firm that is managing the government’s pension? Are the government employees informed about their pensions and the benefit of contributing to their pensions? What percentage of government employees are contributing to their pension? What percentage of the employees salary is going towards their pension? Upon retirement will pensions and social security be paid at the same time?

    Like 14
  5. Political advisers says:

    I thought the Premier paid consultants for political advice, why would he put his own head in a noose announcing this bombshell after the greedy bill fiasco .

    Like 20
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  6. Think again says:

    There is no company managing the pension because there is NO PENSION FUND. Govt pays retired civil servants just like current civil servants – from the current budget. There is no pension fund. The government does not contribute to an employee’s pension nor does the employee. Any payment due comes out of the budget for the current year. Totally unsustainable and has been so for years! It WILL run the country broke.

    Government employees can claim retirement after 25 years of service. Basically, if you started working for government at age 20, you could retire and collect a pension at 45 years of age for life without the government OR the employee ever contributing a dime towards it.

    With the number of persons working for the civil service AND the number of persons who are already retired and continue to retire each year, think about that unsustainable math!

    Like 51
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  7. I said it says:

    A quarter of a million dollars spent on a ghetto free concert to benefit the cronies pockets. Where is your logical thinking skills man?

    Like 27
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  8. Reality Check says:

    All employees, public and private, should be on Social Security, making it stronger. It is the only well run public entity we have and can easily manage everyone’s retirement. Once the public service employees are switched over the additional income will allow for a higher retirement benefit for everyone.
    Do it now! How can anyone complain when every non public servant is on the SS system.

    Like 10
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  9. The plan is….. says:

    To have the elders die out before they can receive anything that they have worked for. It is a crying shame that the elderly who have worked so hard and paved the way have to suffer this way in their golden age. Look at the shack they call a nursing home. That $250.000 could have gone into a nursing home not a hood rat ghetto free concert. I would agree, nothing but a bunch of BUSHMEN IN SUITS WALKING AROUND IN THE HOT SUN.

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  10. Civil Servant says:


    Like 28
  11. Observer says:

    BVI operates a non-contributory defined benefit Government pension scheme. As far as I am aware, it is the only such pension scheme operated in the World. Why not operated elsewhere? Because it is unsustainable and will fail. Leaving the Territory bankrupt. It is simple economics.

    Like 20
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  12. Don't worry says:

    The UK administrators running the BVI next year will solve this problem by eliminating all those pensions that show no pension contributions during the pension recipients employed years.

    Like 12
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  13. INVEST ANOTHER 250,000 says:


  14. SAME DNA says:


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  15. SIMPLE.... says:

    Nobody should be receiving a pension from the government UNTIL they reach pensionable age…. it is THAT simple.

    Like 12
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  16. Listen says:

    If you want to get rich and enjoy the perks, be a Politician in the BVI. They do as they please and get away with everything because no one holds them responsible and accountable for their behavior or actions.

    Like 17
  17. Unfunded says:

    What he means is that they are going to start charging current Govt employees monthly amounts towards their pensions. However, those amounts will be used to pay current retired persons and will not be invested for the benefit of the person making the payments. It is a ponzu scheme – line the one operated in the UK. The Govt can never down size because it requires monthly payments from existing staff to pay to retired staff.

    Like 5
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  18. Faithful says:

    Read to understand and not to respond. He did not say the Govt is broke. He said the current pension scheme, if continued in the same manner, would make the Govt go broke

    Like 6
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  19. OMG says:

    There is you answer

    Like 4
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  20. 1st district original says:

    @Civil Servant, your words are true but where the hell you and others of your kind was when the march and protest was going on about the greedy bill. Why complain NOW after the politicians rapping us financially AGAIN! Where did you place your vote on election day?

  21. ISLM says:

    Seeing what’s going on in the VI if the UK don’t step in and do something it tells us that they don’t care about the people of the BVI.

    Like 3
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  22. To. Don't Worry & Those With same Racist Imperialist Views. says:

    Repatriate the billions of dollars paid to the reprehensible SLAVE HOLDERS, SLAVE OWNERS AND SLAVE SHARE HOLDERS BACK TO the Virgin Islands people and government of those descendants.

    The race of no shame nor conscience. Grow a mind and conscience…

    Added to that, include payments due, which amount to quad drillons of dollars to the descendants of the past-unpaid slaves..

    Non. No UK take over. No UK administration.

    Pay the receipt owed. You paid your slave owners and others. You had no moral problem doing so, but you have a problem paying the descendants of the people that worked for five hundred years for you for forced FREE.

    That is the mentality of a devil! No conscience, no morals. Just as your ancestors… Shame on you and your wicked humanity..

    Like 1
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  23. Anonymous says:

    ISLM, get out ah here wid that colonialistic hog wash!!

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  24. Taxpayer says:

    Wow! Our goverment sucks.

    Like 5
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  25. Mismanagement says:

    How can you state ” we pay persons’ pensions and they don’t pay anything”.

    I truly thought that from every worker’s salary is deducted a certain percentage for their pension as is the case in European countries.

    With that said there should not be any problem to give back to them what is rightfully theirs. Otherwise is all mismanagement and tampering of funds. Voila.

    Like 2
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  26. Eldread says:

    It make no sense getting down about slave or reparations, all things set in place like common wealth countries and heads a government meeting or club society is these black leaders agreeing to infantilism, they are on the world stage talking about they want payment for climate change, it’s like a kid asking for candy, and it’s the onliest thing these leaders know, beg! Beg! Beg, that’s infantilism, the parent tells the child they will get candy if they attend these meetings, with no contribution the leaders cry out for money or candy. You know how slowandie just glad to jump on planes as soon as the colonials call him and other Caribbean leaders, like little children they jump on planes to this adventurous sight seeing around the world, then come back with the recitation they are given like in education the latest acronym, but our educational curriculum is colonial derivative of just service not technology or manufacturing. The more we talk of getting away from that system of hegemonical dictates, we are shown a candy and off our leaders go ad children of a lesser god

  27. ??? says:

    Make it a contributory plan, similiar to 401Ks. Gov Employees should be vested in their own retirement for the good of the country. Government can match employee up to 5% annual. If employees don’t contribute you don’t get the match. Or the government can make it mandatory.

  28. Stop Re-Hiring Retired Workers says:

    You have ppl who work their 25 years, leave and collecting retirement and pension benefits. 2-2’s later you rehire them for another high paying position in a different Gov department and they still collecting benefits from the previous job. Stop this non sense. It is not fair.

    Like 11
  29. medusa says:

    What happened to the $40 million grant from the SSB given under the former Premier’s time in office? If pensions are too that high does that mean the salaries are too high?

  30. Madea says:

    Will former Premier Fahie get his pension?

  31. Love says:

    Cannot support this comment more, government having a non-contributory scheme then paying people a pension AND A full salary after 25 years is sheer madness.

    Like 8
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  32. DropNews says:

    BVI Sustainable Development and Pensioners Goal 12: Sustainable development promotes meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Hypothetically, one might argue the following cons are related to pensioners:

    Financial Shift: As industries and governments prioritize sustainable practices, there might be significant financial shifts, such as subsidizing green technologies or introducing new taxes hence the need for the New TAX ID system SIGTAS 3.0. This could affect pension fund investments if they are heavily invested in non-sustainable sectors.

    Cost of Living: Transitioning to sustainable technologies might, in the short term, increase costs (e.g., sustainable housing, organic food). Pensioners on a fixed income might feel these costs more acutely.

    mRNA Inoculations: mRNA technology, exemplified by the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, has been revolutionary in the medical field. If we are linking this to pensioners locally and sustainable development:

    Responsible consumption and production of food and goods must go hand-in-hand with measures to end our population growth.
    Health Implications: The elderly are typically more vulnerable to diseases. Any adverse effects from inoculations of the medical decision might impact them more severely than younger populations. However, we should also note the rise of recent heart conditions and cancers that are affecting our younger population.
    Costs and Accessibility: The development and distribution of mRNA vaccines will continue to affect the population, and if sustainable development initiatives divert funds from healthcare, it might, hypothetically, affect fair distribution of life-saving drug accessibility to pensioners.

    This is the fix recommended in all UN documents. Therefore he has no plan other than the above mentioned.

  33. What ah Ting! says:

    Know what’s funny? Your. friends, quite a few placed a thumbs up on a comment, yet only one or two ever gets posted to a particular comment… Does BVINews have comment complexes?

    What ah ing, says Ning. Does the amount of ups or downs on a comment affect some of the that much? How does it? What good does itbring to them to not show exactly how many up or downs a comments will get? Does isuch affect their journalistic integrity? Perhaps on a personal level it does.

  34. I hope you all know says:

    You can kick the Premier out of office. But sadly, you people here in the BVI is afraid and he knows that. You all need to come out from hiding behind closed curtains and behind parked vehicles and take it to the streets. Stop the stupid BS about ohhh, if they see me protesting they are going to victimize me. There are about 30 thousand people living on Tortola not including the illegals and overstayers. You all take it to the streets things will change. To many people from the outside is watching and keeping tabs on the BVI and I am sure the Politicians don’t want the world to see what is going on and be humiliated. Protest and things will change.

  35. chupees says:

    I bet you are not a public officer!! you all have to realize that govt pay is so bad.. imagine now extra deductions… So they plan to do salary review to then turn around and ask public servants to pay pension.. Only now teachers and nurses will leave the work!! T

  36. well says:

    welll thy have to deal with the new hiress.. they cant cme with that crap now to people that already in the system!!

  37. Shame on you says:

    After pensioners who spend all their lives building this country for you to now enjoy where you are now this is what you can open your mouth and say :

    Where was your love for country when you:
    1. Signed the GREEDY Bill?
    2. Spend half million for free immoral artist that spouted nothing to celebrate emancipation?
    3. Kept quiet about the 40 million taken from SS for stimulus package and given to people who never used it to grow the economy in fishing and farming

    You are pathetic!’ Shame on you

  38. ??? says:

    If employee’s (who can contribute min 5% and whatever else they can afford above the match) portion, plus the government 5% match is invested with a reputable brokerage or institutional investment firm (for example UK’s or maybe Canada’s version of TIAA Cref, Vangaurd, Fidelity, etc. Mutual funds) rather than the local guy sourcing equities and mutual funds with high front and back end fees, or banks financial services products whose fees are sky high), then you would be surprised how many of the government workers could become millionaires legally by retirement… pulling down a conservative 4% from their portfolio, plus their social security, in retirement so it last into their 80s and beyond..leavinf the rwst as inhertance and a life lesson to their heirs. However, this approach requires a slow and steady mindset and patience. Helps to start young also. It also would require much marketing and lots of time spent educating the average government employee. I was raise in the country side of the bvi and I understand how hard it is to even get the average bvislander to just listen to this type of conversation with an open mind. I so wanted to move back home as someone with a background and experience in this area
    to help my people (not as part of government) but it’s hard and painful living in an environment of glass half empty all the time. Most who have some understanding, are risk adverse and would rather spend money on whole or universal life policies that they don’t understand, but it puts money in the guy selling the policy to them pocket. That same money carefully invested in decent mutual funds in or outside of a retirement plan would produce a better return. I don’t follow your PM often but this caught my attention. The rest of my more detail thoughts are too long and complex for this forum, but I wanted to give those making clearly uninformed reactionary comments some food for thought.

    If the bvi wants to remain a democratic open society they [leaders] will have to bite the bullet do what’s best for the country and drag you all along kicking and screaming (in time you will see the forest from the trees). Otherwise you will become a debt ridden third world UK oversees territory. Much Love for the BVI and my people!

  39. Howl says:

    Tgis man needs to be voted out asap

  40. Guy Hill says:

    Work in government for 40 years. Pension is equavalent minimum wage. How do you survive in this high cost of living society?

    Like 1
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  41. Not so fast says:

    @reality check. Did social security not “invest” in buildings that look like a crossbreed of a prison and a school that now they can’t get sold? We need to keep them in check too. That’s my money they spent and yours too (if you contribute)There are wealth management companies on island that can help the government. One such firm is ran by an individual who made SS a lot of $$$$. So much so that they glad frightened and don’t know what to do with it.

  42. Redstorm says:

    @ yes to UK,
    I would agree with you,for simple reasons. No one can now cry wolf, when they themselves poked the wolf. It’s totally foolish to spend that amount of money to have such little return and called it profit, then say they pantry is empty.

  43. never understand says:

    why are people getting paid again for work they already got paid for stop it right now

  44. Not2Sure says:

    He says we have to do it “eventually” – actuaries were telling the BVI government they need to move public pensions to a contribution based system *decades* ago, but nobody is brave enough to tell civil servants they cannot get free money for life without making any contribution.

  45. REAL says:


  46. Big Richard says:

    I love the DUH look on his face, it reflects the mentality of the entire HOA

  47. @Eldread says:

    I’m a BVISLANDER both parents were as well. But most of all I’m a concern citizen of this Territory. Mr. Eldread stick to the point. The Country is going downhill with this- non-contribution towards Pensión. If we are going to survive as a Country things needs to be put in place.
    Thank you Hon. Premier for voicing this matter.
    I’ve noticed many of our past Representantes and present ones as well refused to voice their opinión on this matter among other things and wonder why the rug was pull from under them.Nothing much they never did for the BVI but to build buildings for the Government offices and to Capitalized on Government contracts etc. Smh

  48. kidding me? says:

    solid50% of civ servants here are —-. negative .i hear they not contributing to this pension? we private sector get sh–. this is fraud.

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