Universal Social Protection: Universal pensions in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago’s is ranked as a high human development category and positioned 64 according to the Human Development Index. While the country has performed creditably in the last decade, there was a decline in 2015 and future economic performance is being challenged. GDP growth and revenue mainly comes from the energy sector (oil and gas) and related companies and therefore the country is not immune to the challenges posed to oil-based economies. The latest official poverty rate was 16.7 per cent (2005 Survey of Living Conditions), 1.2 per cent of the population was extremely poor (indigent) and 9 per cent were vulnerable to poverty. While the 2014 Survey of Living Conditions will disclose precise poverty figures preliminary findings have already pointed to an increase in the poverty rate. There is no official poverty line in Trinidad and Tobago. The 2011 Census indicated that the country had an ageing population. 58 per cent of older persons fell within the 60-69 age group and the age group of 80 years and over was also growing. The data further revealed the feminisation of ageing. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Government play a major role in the social protection landscape. There is a very comprehensive suite of services for older persons aimed at managing the various risk associated with this cohort. Poor health, a major risk associated with older persons, is adequately addressed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).