St. Maarten PM comments on increase in pension age

POSTED: 04/24/13 10:21 AM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-William stated that steps are being taken to increase the pension age and how it affects retiring civil servants. This she stated on her radio show ‘One on One with the prime minister’ on Friday.

The prime minister stated that there was much debate in the budget regarding the increase in the senior citizens pension and that those matters need to be clarified. “You had a matter that came up in handing the budget that had to do with a report that was compiled by the General Auditing Chamber (SOAB) regarding the pension of civil servants and the persons taken up into the Civil Servants Pension Fund General Pension Fund St. Maarten (APS).  A report was made up in 2011 by the general audit chamber because of the fact that pension funds make up a large part of the budget of government. In that respects a report was done and from that report it was evident that many persons were not yet registered by the APS, the successor of the general pension fund of the Netherlands Antilles in which our civil servants participated before 10-10-10. Government is now working very hard on rectifying that matter and we have gone so far as to request that SOAB to investigate and make sure that we have all of the civil servants registered in the pension fund,” emphasized the PM.

During the budget debates the matter also came up regarding the overall increase in the overall old age pensionable age AOV. “Government has drafted changes to the law to increase the pension age which is now at sixty to sixty two across the board. Government envisions that in a period of time we would even need to take it to 65. That law needs to be of course be approved by parliament and we are currently carrying it through the necessary processes. In addition to that I thought it important to take into consideration that many persons who arrive at the age of sixty currently asks government to stay on an extra one or two years. We have until now; with very few exceptions, granted those extensions. Taking into consideration that we are putting the pension age to 62 by law I, already from a civil servants perspective, started to look at a sort of transition period in order to officially honor those requests. Our Personnel Affairs Department is now working on a regulation that, as we wait until the approval of the law, civil servants be allowed to work an extra year or two,” concluded the prime minister.


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