Oranjestad- For a number of years, different pension-related issues have been left unresolved, despite different attempts to do so. A lot of the problems date back from the period before 10/10/10, when St. Eustatius received their new constitutional status.
The issues often relate to years which are “missing” in the administration of the Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands (PCN), after being carried over from the pension fund of the Netherlands Antilles (APNA). Some participants in the APNA pension scheme were -at the time- not, not correctly or incompletely registered. This has caused a situation where future pension benefits are not correctly reflected in the yearly statements the participants receive. In order to rectify the situation, information about the missing years still needs to be carried over from the employers to PCN, to be included in the calculation of benefits.
According to commissioner of Finance, Charles Woodley, the situation has caused much unrest among working and retired civil servants. “It has also created uncertainty for Government about current and future budgetary obligations and potential liabilities, with all its consequences for the budgeting and financial reporting processes paring the annual accounts”, said Woodley.
This was the reason, according to Woodley, to start addressing the these issues in a structural manner, with a meeting between all stakeholders, including the Cft, KPMG, PCN. The meeting was held on Sint Eustatius on July 20th.
From the side of Government, commissioner Woodley and Xavier Blackman participated, while PCN was represented by Monique Sambo from PCN head office in Bonaire and Ingra Bennet, PCN office coordinator in St. Eustatius. Woodley told the BES-Reporter that the meeting had been productive.
From the side of PCN, Monique Sambo also confirmed that the meeting had been productive. “There are no concrete solutions for all issues as of yet, but at least the parties have spoken of the needed steps to start resolving the issues which have dragged on quite long”, according to Sambo. Sambo said she was positive about the fact that all stakeholders necessary to solve the sometimes quite complex issues, were present in the meeting held. Sambo also said she felt that all stakeholders now had a better understanding of the challenges and the way forward.
Sambo told the BES-Reporter that, apart from the issue of missing pension years, other topics discussed were pensions of former government representatives, the registration of part timers with PCN and the participation of employees in former government entities which have been spun off.