Meeting held to tackle pension-related matters

Attendants at the pension meeting, from left: Cynthia Howell (Versant Resource Centre), Gislène Hassell, Oselita Marsdin-Schmidt, Francisca Gibbs, Xavier Blackman, Commissioner Charles Woodley, Wilko Odijk (KPMG), Hyden Gittens (Versant Resource Centre), and Ivan Blijden.

ST. EUSTATIUS–Outstanding pension-related matters were the topic of discussion Thursday during a meeting organized at the initiative of the Directorate of Public Affairs and Support. Commissioner Charles Woodley said besides Directorate Staff, including the Finance and Personnel Departments, stakeholders participating in the meeting, which partially took place via Skype-connections, included consultants from KPMG, involved with the financial and pension administration, and the Transition Manager of Pension Bureau Montae, which is charged with regulation matters for and on behalf of Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands PCN. Unfortunately, Woodley said, that Committee for Financial Supervision CFT did not attend.

  Woodley opened the meeting by welcoming participants, giving a general overview of the current situation, and urging all stakeholders to come up with structural solutions for the pending issues, so that the current pensioners can receive what is due to them and future pensioners can look forward to the same.

  The topics on the agenda were: the transition of the pension administration from General Pension Fund Netherlands Antilles APNA to PCN, the cleaning up of the pension administration after October 10, 2010, the registration of former hourly labourers (uurloners), the pension provision for (former) government officials, erroneously deducted pension premiums, and the basis of the pension calculations.

  It was the first time that these pension issues were discussed with all stakeholders around the table at the same time. During the meeting, Woodley said that it became clear that the stakeholders had not been on the same page and privy to a complete overview of all the issues and information for years.

  “In that sense, the meeting was a very informative one for all involved, and it was agreed that the communication lines would remain open in order to facilitate the process,” Woodley said.

  The meeting concluded with the agreement that an overall plan of approach will be drafted, indicating which stakeholders will be charged with preparing joint solutions and advices for each issue.

  Based on this, the decision-makers, including the Executive Council, PCN Board and Management, and the Dutch Government, can negotiate among themselves and make their final decisions.

  Woodley said it was paramount that the interests and rights of the ultimate beneficiaries of the pension fund, the current and future pensioners, are secured and safeguarded now and in the future.

Source: The Daily Herald