What is BOSS?
BOSS is the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme. Under BOSS, Government will issue public sector employees with a percentage of their salary in bonds. These bonds have an interest rate of 5 percent per annum, with interest being paid twice a year, and mature four years from the date of issue.
While BOSS bonds will be issued directly to public sector workers, Barbadians who are not employed in the public sector can purchase them
- By buying directly from public servants who want to sell their bonds
- By purchasing bonds on the secondary market through a broker:
- Through the CBB
How do they work?
BOSS bonds are issued monthly for 18 months, beginning July 2020 When you buy BOSS bonds, you receive interest on them – 5 percent per annum paid in two instalments each year (January and July) – over their four-year maturity period. At the end of the four years, you get back your initial investment.
There is also an option to cash in early. Exactly 24 months the bond is issued, you can surrender it and you receive the full amount you invested up front. You should note, however, that once you cash in, you will no longer receive interest payments.
Is there a difference between BOSS bonds and regular savings bonds?
Yes. You pay the full-face value for BOSS bonds and receive interest twice a year. Savings bonds are sold at a discount (less than face value), and buyers receive no interest during the lifetime of the bond. When savings bonds mature, investors then receive the full face value of the bond. By way of example, a savings bond investor who paid $76.24 for a $100 security upfront, would receive the full value ($100) when the bond matured after five years,
How many bonds are issued each month?
The amount/value of bonds issued per month can vary, but the maximum value cannot exceed $8.5 million.
What will be the total value of BOSS bonds?
The maximum total value of BOSS bonds that will be issued over the 18-month period is approximately $153 million.
What is the interest rate for these bonds?
BOSS bonds have an interest rate of 5 percent per annum. You receive that interest in two instalments each year.
You should also know that there will be no withholding tax deducted on the interest you earn.
I heard they are for public sector workers, but I don’t work in the public sector. Does this mean I can’t buy BOSS bonds?
If you don’t work in the public sector, you can still buy BOSS bonds. There are three ways you can do this:
- By applying to purchase bonds from the Central Bank when public servants have not taken their full allotment
- By buying directly from public servants who want to sell their bonds;
- By purchasing bonds on the secondary market through a broker.
How do I go about buying bonds from a public sector worker?
If you know of a public sector worker who is interested in selling, may be a spouse, sibling, relative or friend
- Agree a price for the bond
- Download and complete the Transfer Form from the Central Bank of Barbados website
- Complete the form
- Have the signatures witnessed by a JP, a Priest, or a Banker
- Submit the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I go about buying bonds from a broker?
Contact a broker and place an order to buy. You may be required to complete some documentation to start the brokerage agreement
If I buy bonds from a public sector worker, will I get them at face value?
If you buy them within the same month in which the bond was issued, then you can expect to buy them at face value; thereafter you must negotiate the price with the seller
If I buy bonds on the secondary market, will I get them at face value?
As is customary, you will have to negotiate the price if you buy bonds on the secondary market.
At what price will the Central Bank buy bonds?
The Central Bank will buy bonds from public servants at par in the same month in which they were issued. Thereafter, market prices may vary up or down on the secondary market.
If I apply to buy BOSS bonds, am I guaranteed to get them?
No. The availability of BOSS bonds through the Central Bank depends on how much is left unsubscribed after public servants receive their allotment.
However, if you are unable to get bonds through the Central Bank, you can also buy them directly from a public sector worker, or through the secondary market.
You should also know that if you apply to purchase bonds through the Central Bank but are unsuccessful that month, you can ask to be put on a waiting list for when some become available.
Do I have to wait until there are bonds available to apply?
No. You can apply to purchase bonds even if none are available. In that scenario, you will be placed on a waiting list and allocated bonds based on the order in which applications were received.
If I don’t get bonds in the month that I apply, will my application roll over to the next month?
Yes. However, you will need to indicate on your application form that you want to be considered for the next tranche if you are not allocated bonds in the month that you requested.
If I can’t get BOSS bonds from the Central Bank, is there anywhere else I can get them?
Yes. You can also buy bonds directly from a public sector employee or on the secondary market.
Is there a limit for the amount of BOSS bonds I can purchase?
No. However, depending on demand, you might not get the full amount you applied for.
Can I cash in my bonds early?
Yes. You can cash in your bonds after 24 months. If you want to surrender them before then, you will need to sell them to someone else or trade them on the secondary market.