RAILWAY EMPLOYES’ INSURANCE.
TO TIIK EDITOR. Sir, —A Bill to establish a railway employes’ insurance fund was introduced and circulated during last session, and, it is to be presumed, will be brought forward next session. I would suggest that in the meantime those interested should make themselves acquainted with its provisions, which are, generally:— The fund is to be made up of fines, contributions of employes, and any other suras, if any, which Parliament may see fit to appropriate to such purposes, and insurance premiums. The benefits are :To any eraployd discharged through permanent incapacity, by accident, or ill-health, if under twenty years’ service, or if he has not reached the age of sixty-five, one-quarter pay during remainder of life; if he has served twenty years, and is over sixty-five, one-third pay during remainder of life; if he dies in the service, or during sickness or superannuation, one month’s pay for each year’s service—provided he receive not more than twelve months' pay. Clause 7 provides that if an employe quit or resign without permission from the proper authorities, or shall be dismissed for drunkenness while on duty, in consequence of any criminal offence, of fraud, dishonesty, or of gross insubordination or misconduct, he shall not be entitled to any benefits under this Act. By clause 17 the Government guarantees all payments, but any surplus after making proper provision for meeting liabilities is to be paid to the Consolidated Fund. The last clause ia perhaps the most ambiguous of the lot: “ The Board may insure the lives of any employes in the Government Insurance Department, and the proceeds of such insurance shall be paid into the insurance fund. Provided that In all cases where employds are insured prior to this Act coming into operation the Board may accept from such employd a transfer of his life policy in lieu of effecting a fresh iusurance upon such terms as the Government Actuary may advise.” Now, Mr Editor, if this Bill, loosely and carelessly drawn up as it is, should pass the House next session, what will be the effect upon railway men ? It is compulsory, and is intended to apply to all in the service. No provision is made for a man retiring without being incapacitated, and the exceptions mentioned in clause? would seem to be simple irony. Let us take two instances to show how the Act will work. All other cases will be affected in degree according to age and rate of pay. Take first the case of a clerk or other officer aged thirty-five, receiving L 250 a year. He has to pay one guinea every four weeks, or Ll3 13s a year. By the time he reaches sixty-five he will have paid (with 5 per cent, interest added) L 90 0; and if he is then considered permanently incapacitated he will get LB3 6s 84 per year; if he dies any time before, even though he may have paid L7OO or LBOO he gets L23o—a year’s pay. In the Government Insurance, by paying Ll2 12s a year, he would get L4OO at death, or at the age of sixty-five. Let us next take the case of a platelayer or laborer getting ?s » day, or less. The prospective benefits would be, in case of being disabled, L3O a year, or, after twenty years, at the oge of sixty-five, L4O; and in thirty years he will have contributed, with 5 per cent, interest added, at least L3OO. Are the benefits proposed commensurate with the sacrifice demanded ? Surely only to the two or three accidentally or permanently injured, and the Government who get the surplus. Can any of your readers inform me how many men propose to remain in the railway service for forty-five years, for they must enter before they are twenty*two. How many of the numerous cadets remain a tenth of the time ? The clause as to insurance is capable of almost as many interpretations as people like to put upon it, but it will affect injuriously some of the life insurance offices. The Board may take over any policy and keep up the premiums; but what benefit the employe will get from the arrangement it is not clear. The importance of the subject must plead my excuse for taking up so much of your space.—l am, etc,, Dissatisfied, Dunedin, September 20.
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RAILWAY EMPLOYES’ INSURANCE., Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
RAILWAY EMPLOYES’ INSURANCE. Evening Star, Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
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