More resources for financing assisted living are available now than ever before. And at Comfort Keepers, we understand that everyone has unique circumstances that help determine how they can best afford the costs of assisted senior living for themselves or their loved ones.
Aside from the sale of a home or traditional savings, you may qualify for some of the additional options outlined below that provide flexibility and access to resources for assisted living financing.
Trinidad & Tobago Universal Pensions
Trinidad & Tobago has achieved nearly universal old-age pension coverage through a combination of contributory and non-contributory pension schemes. The contributory scheme is provided by the National Insurance board (NIB) while the non-contributory scheme called the Senior Citizens’ Pension (SCP) is provided by the MInistry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS).
The Government of Trinidad & Tobago provides a comprehensive set of benefits and services for elderly people aimed at managing the various risks associated with this age group. These include contributory and non-contributory pensions, free health care, provision of select free drugs, social support mechanisms, free public transportation, subsidized housing programmes, care services.
- What are the characteristics of the old-age pensions?
- What other services are available to elderly people?
Benefits: The NIB retirement pension is paid at age 60 to anyone who has been insured with a minimum of 750 weeks of contributions. A retirement grant in the form of a one-time lump-sum payment is paid to those insured persons who have made less than 750 weekly contributions. The total contribution rate is 13.2 per cent (4.4 per cent by employees and 8.8 per cent by employers) and the maximum insurable earnings are 13,600 Trinidadian dollars (TTD) per month. Contributions are paid according to 16 wage categories and the pension is calculated based on the category. The self-employed are not covered under the NIB.
The minimum monthly pension is TTD 3,000 (approximately US$ 445), which represents 115 per cent of the minimum wage. About 97 per cent of the current pensioners receive the minimum pension. The SWD administers the social pension called the Senior Citizens’
Pension (SCP) in accordance with the Senior Citizens’ Pension Act. The SCP is a monthly grant paid to persons aged 65 or more based on their income and residential status. To be eligible, their income should not exceed TTD 4,500 per month (approximately US$ 668). SCP recipients must be resident in Trinidad and Tobago for 20 years preceding the date of application. Any periods of absence must not exceed a total of 5 years during the 20 years preceding the application. SCP recipients must also have spent a period of at least 50 years in the country to be eligible for the benefit. The SCP benefit is decided for each case depending on the income category that the pensioner falls in. In 2016, the SCP benefit ranged from a minimum of TTD 500 to a maximum of TTD 3,500 per month with 74.2 per cent of the recipients receiving the maximum benefit. The amount is higher than the established poverty line and significantly above the indigence line. The sum also exceeds the established minimum wage for the country and the NIB minimum pension. Where there are two persons living in the same household (husband and wife) who qualify for the SCP, they can get a maximum household pension of TTD 7,000 per month.
Elderly people that are eligible under the Chronic Disease Assistance Programme (CDAP) benefit from free health care at health clinics and hospitals, as well as the provision of selected drugs at no cost. The CDAP is managed by the Ministry of Health and provides citizens with free prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical items to combat a number of diseases, including diabetes, cardiac diseases, arthritis, glaucoma, mental depression, high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, hypercholesterolemia, thyroid diseases and Parkinson’s disease. In case all the necessary drugs and services are not available in the public healthcare system, beneficiaries can access private healthcare services at subsidized rates. Accessibility and coverage do not therefore pose major challenges in Trinidad and Tobago.
All content contained within this page is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for advice and information from a personal financial or tax advisor. Comfort Keepers is not a provider of any of these financial products or of any financial and tax advice, and does not endorse or take responsibility for the accuracy of the information from the programs and products listed here. Individuals should consult with their personal financial or tax advisor for advice about what financial options are best for them.