Ministers Meyers and Arrindell receive $210,000 pension in next two years

POSTED: 05/11/12 12:56 PM

St. Maarten – The departing ministers from the fallen UP/DP-government will cost the tax payer $210,816 for the next two years per minister that does not generate any other income during that period. With Economic Affairs Minister Franklin Meyers and Education Minister Rhoda Arrindell have declared that they will do nothing for the next two years, or at least take their time for contemplation and introspection, the tab stands already at $421,632.  If vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger does not manage to get a seat in parliament, the cost will go up with another $210,816, bringing the total to almost $665,000.

However, if Heyliger – as is expected – will get a seat in parliament he will only have to be compensated for the difference between the salary of an MP and a minister – $1,571 per month.

In that case the MP that gives up his or her seat will benefit from the same pension scheme and receive $200,150 over the next two years, plus $88,500 per year during the two years after that if they are unable to work.

The pension scheme for politicians who have to leave office prematurely, entitles political office holders during 3 months to 95 percent of their salary.

A minister makes now, based on 2010-figures, $11,037 per month. After the first three months, the percentage of this salary goes down to 85 percent for 7 months; the next 10 months are paid at 75 percent and the remaining 4 months at 70 percent. The monthly salary goes therefore down from the original $11,037 to $10,485 during the first three months and to $7,726 during the last four months.

The salaries for the non-active ministers will have to be paid from the 2012 budget. Currently, this does not contain a provision for this situation.

Minister that start earning an income after leaving office for another job or from company revenue will have this income subtracted from their government pension. Ministers who, at the end of the two year period, suffer from an illness that makes it impossible for them to work in their previous position are entitled to benefits for 2 years at 70 percent. This would cost the tax payer $92,715 per minister per year.

The above calculation assumes that Minister Duncan, De Weever and Wescot-Williams become a part of the next government and that Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto will return to a function at the finance department. If Shigemoto takes that option, the government will have to compensate him for the difference between his ministerial salary and that in his new function, based on the percentages decreed in the pension scheme.

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