IS THE SSB IN BREACH OF THE LAW?

95
5728

The Social Security Board (SSB) is an organization that should provide a well-defined social insurance scheme, a safety net, for the Belizean worker and this is financed by contributions from employees and their employers. Over the years the contributions have been in excess of benefits payments as is to be expected from a young scheme. This has led to the creation of a large investment portfolio and made the SSB into what can be considered a major development bank, and the single largest institutional investor in Belize. The SSB is not only a major social insurance scheme but also a major investor in its own right and a source of funding for major industries in Belize.

However, in recent years this has changed and today we are at the point where contributions can no longer cover the operations/expenditures and the investment income has to be used to do so. As the Actuary had advised in consecutive actuarial reviews the SSB fund is past the Point of Equilibrium (POE) hence the SSB is now making the changes that should have been done since 2008.  Both the rate of contributions and the insurable earnings are being increased effective July 1, 2019.

In summary the SSB is a major development bank and institutional investor; its operations must reflect this in every respect. This portfolio comprises of investments in key areas of Belize’s economy such as Agriculture, Tourism, Utilities, Education, etc. A key segment of the portfolio is also comprised of mortgages. The success of any investment institution depends heavily on the culture of the organization and the attention given to the risk profile of the portfolio. The culture must by necessity involve the entire organization but special responsibility rests with the Board of Directors and in the case of the SSB also with its Investment Committee (IC). These two bodies must set the tone and develop the investment culture of the organization.

As at end of the year 2017 the total investment portfolio of the SSB stood at $454.5 million and the Reserves stood at some $522.5 million. Some years ago, because of the nature of the organization, special interest was placed in the diversification of the investments bearing in mind the risk on the investment portfolio. So much was the concern that it was set in law, Chapter 44 of the Laws of Belize – Third Schedule Section 22 “Investment Framework” that no single investment shall exceed 20% of the total amount of the Reserves, including economically targeted investments.

As per the 2017 audited financials the SSB’s investment in Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is approximately $110M in shares and another $6m in debentures. This then would account for almost 22.2% of the actuarial reserves. If this has not changed then the SSB was breaking the law in 2017 and continues to do so now in 2019. The concern should be even more acute now that it is rumored that the BEL is declaring a loss for 2018 and will not be paying dividends. Can the SSB afford not to get a return on its investment of over 20% of its reserves and investment portfolio?

The Actuary has consistently advised the SSB the need to halt the investments in equity investments especially in the Utilities Sector and to increase investment in development sectors. The 2017 Actuarial Review recommends that fresh assets should be re-directed in its entirety to Development Issues, particularly the Agricultural Sector, from 9.2% of the portfolio to 13% in 2020 and by 23% in 2025. Hopefully the SSB heeds this advice and stop investing in GOB projects that need bailing out and substandard infrastructure projects done for political gain only.

95 COMMENTS

  1. This is the right blog for anybody who wants to discover this topic. You realize a whole lot its nearly hard to argue along with you (not too I personally would want…HaHa). You actually put a different spin over a topic thats been revealed for years. Wonderful stuff, just fantastic!

  2. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly
    what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to
    write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here.
    Again, awesome web site!

  3. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  4. A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly evaluation on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If attainable, as you become experience, would you mind updating your blog with extra particulars? It is extremely useful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog put up!

  5. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made
    or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a
    few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.

    Please let me know where you got your theme. Cheers

  6. I am fascinated this informative article. There are so many things mentioned here I had never thought of before. You have made me realize there is more than one way to think about these things.

  7. Excellent blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  8. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.

    Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I fulfillment you access consistently fast.

  9. (Health News) – Do not suit baffled on encountering side effects with cheapest prescription women viagra. They are familiar with all drugs. Impressive is to know tackling them. But in for fear of the fact of doctor as a profession favourable phobia is this pharmaceutical side effects are absolutely modest and incapable of causing any harm. Rarely do they occur. They are creditable in other things also. Like, they be clear and then poetic evanish also in one-time without seeking any treatment. September 25, 2016 21:23

  10. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  11. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has
    been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast
    due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue
    here on your blog.

  12. Hiya very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?
    I am happy to find so many useful information right here in the publish, we want develop
    extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  13. A few things i have observed in terms of laptop or computer memory is that there are features such as SDRAM, DDR and so forth, that must match up the specs of the motherboard. If the personal computer’s motherboard is reasonably current while there are no os issues, upgrading the memory space literally requires under one hour. It’s one of several easiest laptop upgrade treatments one can picture. Thanks for discussing your ideas.

  14. RJWz1b That is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger. I ave joined your rss feed and sit up for searching for more of your great post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  15. I have to voice my affection for your kindness giving support to those people who require assistance with in this subject matter. Your very own commitment to getting the solution up and down appears to be certainly functional and have frequently empowered those just like me to reach their objectives. Your entire helpful guide denotes this much to me and much more to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us. trust pharmacy canada

  16. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.

    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  17. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don at realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you ave a great readers a base already!

  18. Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here