SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – The General Audit Chamber submitted its report entitled Compliance audit: 2017 Financial Statements of the General Pension Fund Sint Maarten (AlgemeenPensioenfondsSint Maarten– APS) to Parliament on April 8, 2019. The report addresses findings and conclusions resulting from the review of the pension fund’s financial statement of 2017.
Although APS’ coverage ratio is 103.1% at the end of 2017 (2016: 99.6%), the fund’s financial health is not optimal. Its financial capital is still insufficient to cover general and investment risks.
The report explains that the increase of the coverage ratio from 99.6% in 2016 to 103.1% at the end of 2017, is partially based on a 2% investment result.
In previous reports, the General Audit Chamber expressed concerns about APS’ suboptimal coverage ratio, and repeatedly recommended preparation and implementation of a recovery plan.
In 2017, APS’ actuary recommended that the Fund draft a recovery plan as well. APS reports that a recovery plan has since been drafted.
Though the General Audit Chamber was not able to familiarize itself with the recovery plan during the audit, they are hopeful that it will lead to the achievement of the 105% coverage ratio. However, measures to achieve a 105% coverage ratio, should not primarily fall to government, participants or the general population.
It is the General Audit Chamber’s opinion that APS’ 2017 Financial Statements provide a true and fair representation of the Fund’s financial position as of December 31, 2017, as well as its 2017 financial result, with the exception of qualifications related to outstanding claims.
The General Audit Chamber established that APS, with the exception of a single provision, is legally compliant. The one item concerns establishment by the board of the investment policy, which did not happen during fiscal year 2017. APS indicates that this was an omission.
APS’ Board reacted to the draft report on March 27th, 2019. In the reaction, the Board indicates placing great importance for completing and/or implementing the various recommendations previously issued by the General Audit Chamber. As part of the reaction, APS’ Board, provided an addendum, listing the status of these recommendations.
The General Audit Chamber considers the fact that APS takes their recommendation to heart as a positive development and indicates they will continue to review APS’ progress during the audit of the 2018 Financial Statements.
The report is published in both English and Dutch and is available on the website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).