Seniors discuss equal pensions and social premiums with de Weever

POSTED: 04/4/12 11:59 AM

St. Maarten – Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius de Weever recently met with the Seniors and Pensioners Association (SMSPA) to discuss a number of issues, such as pension reform, postponement of health reform, FZOG and SZV 60 plus card premiums, World Health Day 2012, and the upcoming interregional meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. Board members of the SMSPA told the minister that senior citizens would like to have equal old age pension as it is in the Netherlands. They also proposed the installation of a national committee to advise government on the equal implementation of old age pensions, social allowances and all other social, economic and cultural rights in this part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

SMSPA is also concerned with the fact that seniors pay more FZOG and SZV premiums than active workers. According to SMSPA seniors pay 10 – 10.4 percent of their pension income, while active workers only pay 2 – 2.2 percent of their salary. The board drew reference to the situation in the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands where the premium of the health insurance for all persons with an income under 1, 000 Euro (2300 guilders) a month and also for the children under 18 years of age is paid by the state, whereas here in St. Maarten only an income of under 1, 500 guilders is entitled to a medical card from government.

In addition, the SMSPA would like to collaborate where possible regarding World Health Day 2012 with this year’s focus being “Aging and Health: Good health adds life to years.” De Weever applauded the association for wanting to participate in the information campaign, which can reach out to their members and address the concern of healthy aging.
De Weever called the meeting great and is looking forward to a follow-up meeting with the organization.
“I am looking forward to working with SMSPA in the interest of seniors here on our island,” De Weever said.

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