Speaking at the official opening of the NIF-owned Meliá Braco Village in Trelawny, the Prime Minister said the growth in the Fund was due to operational changes made to the facility in 1989, when she served as Labour Minister. At the time, she informed, the fund stood at $1.5 billion.
“Rather than having the funds sitting in banks, we (decided) to invest to ensure the growth of the National Insurance Fund,” the Prime Minister stated. She explained that an investment secretariat was established in July 1989 and a National Insurance Board appointed as an advisory body to the NIF.
“Now, nearly 27 years later, I am very pleased to be able to say that since the inception of the National Insurance Board, the National Insurance Fund has experienced significant growth in its net assets, largely from investment income…the National Insurance Fund presently stands at $77 billion,” she noted.
In outlining the range of investments, Mrs. Simpson Miller said these include tourism, real estate, manufacturing, financial services and major infrastructural projects.
She noted that, in addition to enabling continuous improvements in pension benefits, the investments have been impacting “in a serious way” the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while creating various employment opportunities for Jamaicans.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the fact that the NIF can invest some US$23.5 million in the refurbishing of the 225-room Meliá Braco Village is an indication of the tremendous growth of the fund.
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