Legistimate Expectation vs The Montserrat Social Security Precedent has been set!

By Man from Baker Hill

The case of Denzil Edgecombe against the Premier and the Government of Montserrat (Attorney General) sets the stage for individuals to successfully achieve their legitimate pension rights against the Montserrat Social Security in the courts of Montserrat.

So through this Article and The Montserrat Reporter, I serve notice on the members of the Board of the Montserrat Social Security of the intention of a class of Montserratians to recover their full pension rights. Montserratians born between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1952 were cheated of their rights to the legitimate Social Security pensions for which they contributed.

When the Social Security Fund started in 1986, our class was assured of a minimum 30% pension as long as we contributed for ten years. But after 24 years of contributions to the SSF, on January 1, 2010, The Reuben Meade MCAP government passed a law b into effect on Montserrat that reduced expected pension benefits for our class from 30% to 20% of the insured amount. None of us were aware of the change in benefits; not even at the time when we applied for the pension. It is a horrible thing to have happened to our class; some members have lived lives of financial desperation ever since.

The consequence of that Law was that a person born January 1, 1950, went to bed New Year’s Eve December 31, 2009 expecting a social security pension of $900 but woke up New Year’s Day to a pension of $600. The law did not affect persons born before January 1, 1950; and as a result a special group of privileged civil servants have reaped the rewards of our contributions.

I appeal to the Board of the SSF to seek to understand the effect of that Law.

Here is an illustration. Bobo was born January 1, 1950. Bobo’s wife was born December 31, 1949. Both Bobo and his wife made the same number of contributions and in the exact same amounts to the Social Security Fund; but Bobo received a social security pension of $600 while his wife received $900.

And there is more; Port Worker John received a SSF pension of $600. He contributed fully to the Social Security Fund (SSF) from its inception in 1986 to his retirement on February 1, 2010. He never missed a contribution; in fact he over contributed to the fund and received a small refund. Imagine the distress of John when he realised that Lukiesha the civil servant, who was born February 1, 1948 and never made one dollar contribution to the SSF, received a SSF pension of $900 and a lump sum back payment of $10,000.

Precedent! Legitimate Expectation!

However, there is no need for the CARROT and stick legal approach to redress this impropriety. And the pun is intended! The Board of the Social Security is hereby advised to seek legal advice and to redress this matter before January 1, 2015.

And that is not all. It is no secret that many civil servants who received their full SSF pension rights never contributed one red cent to the SSF. Yet some received back payments of $50,000 and more. It is also no secret that the UK government recently paid into the SSF more than $15 million to compensate for the massive pay-out to the ‘did not contribute’ civil servants.

This matter will not go away. It has been a burning ulcer for the class of Montserratians who have been asking me to look into the matter for them. In fact, I have taken my personal case to the SSF and have always hinted that legal action will follow.

But when I tried to discuss the matter with the consultant he told me the reduction is only 10%. He did not consider that ten from thirty left only 20%; neither did he realize that 10% is half of 20%. In other words, $900 minus $600 is $300; and the pension short- fall of $300 means that our class legitimately expected 50% more than what we get.

The situation brought on a certain chronic effect, it is a health hazard; volcano emigrants Suedette, Suzannah, Joy and Sadiah have developed ulcerous conditions due to failed expectations of their legitimate pensions.

Here is another story of a member of our class. Joy, Sadiah’s sister in Christ, told me that the clerks at the SSF laughed at her and told her that she was lucky to be born in 1948. Joy had gone to the SSF office to enquire about Sadiah’s assumed short payment in her SSF pension check. Sadiah was born in 1950. I can relate stories of painful after- shock experienced by members of our class; but our time has now come. And we expect justice without lengthy Carrot Like litigation. No pun is intended!

Montserratians, please take note, ‘Legitimate Expectation’ as used in this article is not to be taken as a political issue. But it is a POLITICAL matter!

Precedent has been set. And if the present government believes that its political party can promise all sorts of stupidnis in their manifesto or on the campaign trail, then a stern warning is in order.

And in conclusion, on behalf of this class of cheated Montserratian, ‘The Montserrat Reporter’ and I serve notice on the Board of the Montserrat Social Security of the intention to seek comfort in the Courts of Montserrat that our Legitimate Expectation for the SSF pension will be achieved.

Legitimate Expectation, Wow! A precedent has been set. That’s all.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Man from Baker Hill

The case of Denzil Edgecombe against the Premier and the Government of Montserrat (Attorney General) sets the stage for individuals to successfully achieve their legitimate pension rights against the Montserrat Social Security in the courts of Montserrat.

So through this Article and The Montserrat Reporter, I serve notice on the members of the Board of the Montserrat Social Security of the intention of a class of Montserratians to recover their full pension rights. Montserratians born between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1952 were cheated of their rights to the legitimate Social Security pensions for which they contributed.

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When the Social Security Fund started in 1986, our class was assured of a minimum 30% pension as long as we contributed for ten years. But after 24 years of contributions to the SSF, on January 1, 2010, The Reuben Meade MCAP government passed a law b into effect on Montserrat that reduced expected pension benefits for our class from 30% to 20% of the insured amount. None of us were aware of the change in benefits; not even at the time when we applied for the pension. It is a horrible thing to have happened to our class; some members have lived lives of financial desperation ever since.

The consequence of that Law was that a person born January 1, 1950, went to bed New Year’s Eve December 31, 2009 expecting a social security pension of $900 but woke up New Year’s Day to a pension of $600. The law did not affect persons born before January 1, 1950; and as a result a special group of privileged civil servants have reaped the rewards of our contributions.

I appeal to the Board of the SSF to seek to understand the effect of that Law.

Here is an illustration. Bobo was born January 1, 1950. Bobo’s wife was born December 31, 1949. Both Bobo and his wife made the same number of contributions and in the exact same amounts to the Social Security Fund; but Bobo received a social security pension of $600 while his wife received $900.

And there is more; Port Worker John received a SSF pension of $600. He contributed fully to the Social Security Fund (SSF) from its inception in 1986 to his retirement on February 1, 2010. He never missed a contribution; in fact he over contributed to the fund and received a small refund. Imagine the distress of John when he realised that Lukiesha the civil servant, who was born February 1, 1948 and never made one dollar contribution to the SSF, received a SSF pension of $900 and a lump sum back payment of $10,000.

Precedent! Legitimate Expectation!

However, there is no need for the CARROT and stick legal approach to redress this impropriety. And the pun is intended! The Board of the Social Security is hereby advised to seek legal advice and to redress this matter before January 1, 2015.

And that is not all. It is no secret that many civil servants who received their full SSF pension rights never contributed one red cent to the SSF. Yet some received back payments of $50,000 and more. It is also no secret that the UK government recently paid into the SSF more than $15 million to compensate for the massive pay-out to the ‘did not contribute’ civil servants.

This matter will not go away. It has been a burning ulcer for the class of Montserratians who have been asking me to look into the matter for them. In fact, I have taken my personal case to the SSF and have always hinted that legal action will follow.

But when I tried to discuss the matter with the consultant he told me the reduction is only 10%. He did not consider that ten from thirty left only 20%; neither did he realize that 10% is half of 20%. In other words, $900 minus $600 is $300; and the pension short- fall of $300 means that our class legitimately expected 50% more than what we get.

The situation brought on a certain chronic effect, it is a health hazard; volcano emigrants Suedette, Suzannah, Joy and Sadiah have developed ulcerous conditions due to failed expectations of their legitimate pensions.

Here is another story of a member of our class. Joy, Sadiah’s sister in Christ, told me that the clerks at the SSF laughed at her and told her that she was lucky to be born in 1948. Joy had gone to the SSF office to enquire about Sadiah’s assumed short payment in her SSF pension check. Sadiah was born in 1950. I can relate stories of painful after- shock experienced by members of our class; but our time has now come. And we expect justice without lengthy Carrot Like litigation. No pun is intended!

Montserratians, please take note, ‘Legitimate Expectation’ as used in this article is not to be taken as a political issue. But it is a POLITICAL matter!

Precedent has been set. And if the present government believes that its political party can promise all sorts of stupidnis in their manifesto or on the campaign trail, then a stern warning is in order.

And in conclusion, on behalf of this class of cheated Montserratian, ‘The Montserrat Reporter’ and I serve notice on the Board of the Montserrat Social Security of the intention to seek comfort in the Courts of Montserrat that our Legitimate Expectation for the SSF pension will be achieved.

Legitimate Expectation, Wow! A precedent has been set. That’s all.