PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Friday, December 11th, 2015)Social and Health Insurances (SZV) has been working together with the St. Maarten Seniors Citizens and Pensioner’s Association (SMSPA) since July of this year. An internal liaison officer was appointed to work closely with the SMSPA to gather information on problems that senior citizens and pensioners are experiencing with SZV’s policies and procedures. One of the issues brought forward by SMSPA was the situation of denied pension requests from French-side workers of the 60s and 70s. Several French-side workers have approached the SMSPA to assist them in their plight.

On December 10th, the 67th International day of Humans Rights, Mr. Raymond Helligar and several French-side workers, who he is representing, came to SZV to symbolically submit the gathered information on individual cases. The representatives of SZV were pleasantly surprised of this action, but met with Mr. Helligar and his fellow French-side workers to listen to their plight. SZV explained that they are an executing agency of the social security and health insurances legislations of Dutch St. Maarten established by the government of Country St. Maarten and cannot independently make changes to these legislations. SZV is willing to offer as much support and assistance as possible to the SMSPA, addressing concerns and offering clarification to the denied requests. Within the advisory role that SZV has to the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, SZV will review each individual case, provide clarification and draft an advice based on the findings report from this exercise to present to the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor on behalf of the SMSPA in regards to possible amendment of the established legislations of Country St. Maarten.

SZV views this meeting as another step forward in the collaboration with the SMSPA and the French-side workers. The SMPSA is expected to present SZV over 67 files for review next week. SZV also presented Mr. Helligar with the official requirements list used in the application process for pension on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. SZV will shortly provide the SMSPAs with a translated, English version of the respective legislation that dictates the requirements for pension on the Dutch side of St. Maarten.