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Retirement benefits for TT nationals living overseas

Toronto — If you worked in Trinidad and Tobago and paid into the National Insurance System (NIS) before coming to Canada to live, there may be some TT money coming to you.

Retirement benefits of up to $1000 TT a month are one of five types of entitlements for former TT workers, says Gobin Maharaj, a Toronto based agent of consultants Ramcharitar and Associates and Prudential Management Services. He is willing to help Canadian residents and citizens obtain their benefits from Trinidad, for a small service fee.

" If you paid into NIS between 1972 and the present time, you are entitled to all NIS benefits no matter where you live. It doesn’t matter if you are getting similar benefits in Canada. This something you paid for, something you have a right to," says Maharaj.

Retirement payments through NIS kick in after the person reaches the age of 60, and range from a minimum for qualified people of $200 TT a month upwards. The actual amount will depend on the number and value of NIS payments and the time of qualification.

Disability benefits can be paid to those who are under 60 and unable to work for a living. Survivor benefits are due for the widow or widower of a person who has died while being qualified for NIS. A survivor can also cash in on a $2,000 funeral grant, even though the actual funeral could have taken place years ago. There are also education benefits if a qualified person has died leaving children still going to school.

Maharaj emphasized that all of these benefits are payable even if the individual is living in Canada, if the spouse died here, or if the children are going to school in Canada. Place of residence has nothing to do with entitlement to NIS benefits, he said.

Maharaj and his Trinidad counterparts will handle all the paperwork involved in making the claims, including finding forgotten NIS numbers and answering questions from the NIS. You can call him at 905-673-1541, e-mail at g.maharaj@rogers.com or contact the head office directly in Trinidad at 10 Victoria Square East, P.O. Box 236, Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I., at 868-625-4636 or email at: ramassoc2003@yahoo.com.

Cruising in the Georgian Bay

Members and supporters of the Imdadul Islamic Jamaat chose an excellent sunny day for their June 14 excursion to the Manitulin Island. The one-day outing included a 4-hour each way bus ride from the Jamaat’s Headquarters at 26 Lepage Court in Toronto and a 31/2 hour ferry tour of the Georgian Bay Islands. Every summer, the Jamaat takes advantage of the sunshine and organizes river and overland trips to various destinations. These tours are a welcome outdoor activity for members and their families and also a means of raising funds. Next up is a bus tour to Niagara Falls on July 19. For information call 416-746-5935/905-824-1884.