Categorized | Letters, Local, News

Desperate Plight of Retired Civil Servants in Montserrat

A progressive nation’s character can be judged largely by reflecting on how it takes care of its less fortunate, its children, its elderly and its pensioners in the society. Beneath the seemingly comfortable middle class cover, we need to take a hard, close and honest look at what is really happening in the homes and lives of our retired civil servants, who have dedicated their lives to nation building for the common good of their own and future generations.

Consider the snapshot reality of the average Montserratian retired civil servant, immediately post volcano:

  • She lost her home in volcanic crisis and with her small fixed income has been forced to rent, or to borrow money to rebuild at very high interest rates.
  • She has been awarded only very meager payments from insurance companies for her lost home, and the greater part and in some cases all of these insurance settlements were retained by the Bank.
  • The Bank also retained, not only the title deed for her property, but also the proceeds of the personal life insurance policy that she invested in.
  • She have not yet received a cent from monies paid over many years into two (2) insurance companies which have since gone out of business as a result of the current financial crisis.

Upon this backdrop of hardship, fast forward now to the Double Dipper Social Security Payments Crisis affecting our pensioners today –

  • Social Security payments for the vast majority of retired Civil Servants, have ceased in November last year (2010) and are still suspended to date.
  • Retired Civil Servants were told that payments would resume as soon as new pension legislation was drawn up.  This legislation was in fact passed in the Legislative Council almost five (5) months ago, and payments have still not been resumed.
  • Many of these Civil Servants took out loans from the financial institutions to repair or replace their cars, or to upgrade their living quarters, based on these monthly Social Security payments.  Now that these payments have been suspended, they are forced to repay these bank loans out of their small pensions, with grossly insufficient funds remaining to survive on.
  • The monies spent by these retired Civil Servants on urgent medical expenses (an unavoidable reality of ageing), had not been reimbursed by the medical insurance company between December 2010 & August 2011, thus significantly draining whatever meagre disposable income these individuals were trying to survive on.

What is the hold up in reinstating the social security payments that form a substantial and indispensable component of the pensioner’s monthly lifeline? This long drawn out and unbearable situation continues to strangle the quality of life for our retired citizens on a daily basis.

Is anyone hearing these heartfelt cries of desperation coming from persons who have dedicated most or all of the better years of their life to faithfully serving their country?

Hurting Retired Civil Servant

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

A progressive nation’s character can be judged largely by reflecting on how it takes care of its less fortunate, its children, its elderly and its pensioners in the society. Beneath the seemingly comfortable middle class cover, we need to take a hard, close and honest look at what is really happening in the homes and lives of our retired civil servants, who have dedicated their lives to nation building for the common good of their own and future generations.

Consider the snapshot reality of the average Montserratian retired civil servant, immediately post volcano:

Upon this backdrop of hardship, fast forward now to the Double Dipper Social Security Payments Crisis affecting our pensioners today –

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What is the hold up in reinstating the social security payments that form a substantial and indispensable component of the pensioner’s monthly lifeline? This long drawn out and unbearable situation continues to strangle the quality of life for our retired citizens on a daily basis.

Is anyone hearing these heartfelt cries of desperation coming from persons who have dedicated most or all of the better years of their life to faithfully serving their country?

Hurting Retired Civil Servant