Elshot advises: carefully check pension specs

POSTED: 09/21/12 1:17 PM

GREAT BAY-President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (Witu) Claire Elshot is echoing the calls general pension fund administrator APS made last week for several categories of public servants to  thoroughly check their final pension specifications from the Antillean pension fund, Apna up to October 9, 2010.

Elshot said that based on her own experience the overviews APS is distributing currently warrant more than just a casual glance. At yesterday’s weekly Wifol press briefing, Elshot recounted how she received an overview in which a co-insured person on her specification was recorded as having been born on January 1, 1900. The union leader said she immediately contacted APS who explained that the error was as a result of a computer glitch.

She also stated that a teacher who had been insured under Apna since 1996 and paid monthly premiums was recently told that she was only put in the system in 2010.

“This is a very important overview because it is giving you your status as of the date before the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. I am calling on our members to go through this pension overview carefully. Match it and make sure your name and all the information pertaining to you and your spouse and even your salary are correct,” Elshot said.

Last week APS announced that it had commenced distribution of the final pension specifications for Apna to inform participants about the way they were registered.  APS asked participants to report discrepancies with their pension specifications, so that the general pension fund could work with them, in order to resolve their concerns.

Elshot said that it is important for workers to seize the opportunity now to enquire about their status under the compulsory pension fund.

“For any corrections and any errors you can direct your letter to APS here in St.Maarten. I really would not want our members to discover an error three years later and then decide to rectify it.”

“Make sure that you are registered at APS as well,” Elshot charged.

APS had advised that there are four important points to look at which influence the accrued pension directly: the participant’s date of birth, the registration date in the fund (datum toetreding), whether the participant “bought back” additional years (inkoop) and the salary based on which the accrued pension is calculated.

The old pension scheme Apna ceased to exist when St.Maarten became an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on October 10, 2010.  However Apna officially closed its doors on July 1. The closure came after 73 years of services rendered to the civil servants and pensioners of St. Maarten

APS is located on the bottom floor of the Yogesh Building in Cul-de-Sac.

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