Categorized | Local, Opinions

Social Security, Civil Servants and Pensions: A SOLUTION

By man from baker hill

Montserratians get out of your little bird’s nest!  Flap your wings,  stand on your ‘too feat’; do not expect any more help from mother DFID with our civil servants pension contributions to the SSF. We must live within your means.  We must negotiate among ourselves a solution to the outstanding SSF contribution problem that can fit within our national budget. We must do for self.
We would recall that late 2008 the FFID Lady told Montserrat to find a solution to the Social Security and civil servant’s pension matter. Now two years later, the DFID team is here again…and still no solution.  But instead of the expected $12 million bailout they told us to live within our means.

Of course DFID knows that last year ‘the Montserrat nine’, our legislators, received over $1 million in salaries and allowances. They also know that since last year the retired civil servants received no SSF pension and may not get another dollar for the next year. So clearly we must find a way to restart the SSF pension payments to the retired civil servants.

Frustrated and weary the pensioners worry and beg for a real solution.  Every month The Montserrat Reporter has been bombarded by queries and complaints over the non-payment of their SSF pensions.

So how about the solution developed by Montserratians? We can do it for ourselves. And sometimes we have to ‘go easy’ with the advice and recommendations of pension experts and expensive consultants. Sure, we can use the advice as guidance.

Now, here is a real solution, ‘The Montserrat Reporter’s solution to the SSF, Civil Servants Pension Solution.

We have to go back. Yes, go back to arithmetic, just the good old days of mental arithmetic. It is that simple.

Let us go back to the year 2006 when an agreement was made to put extra money in the pockets of retired civil servants. Let us accept the agreement and acknowledge that the Government owed the Social Security $20 million in contributions for the past and present employees who were on record since 1986.

First, let us examine the list of employees and separate it into three categories.

One category will be those employees who were age 60 on or before 2006. Another category will be those employees who will become age 60 between 2006 and 2015, and the last category will be those employees who will become age 60 after 2015.

Second, calculate the total contributions due on behalf of each category of employees and keep the amounts separate. We will have an amount for employees who were age 60 on or before 2006 as well as amounts for the other two categories.

Third, let us revisit the payment arrangement for the $20 million with the Social Security Fund and agree to the following terms and conditions:
T o acknowledge the original debt due to the SSF because of unpaid contributions for civil servants.

To consider all payments towards that debt as deposits on account only.

“To apply that deposit towards the amount due for the category of employees who were age 60 on or before 2006.

To pay the balance of the debt, due for the other categories, over a period of 20 years with interest at a reasonable rate.

If however, a civil servant becomes age 60 between 2006 and 2015, agree to pay the SSF the balance or the full contributions due for that employee; the payment must be made after his 59th birthday but before his 60th birthday.

If $8 million has already been paid to the SSF, then the balance can be scheduled over the next 20 years at less than $1 million dollars a year”.

That seems a very simple solution!  The benefits are immediate.  All pensioners will receive their age pension, assuming that the amount due for the category of employees who became age 60 on or before 2006 is less than the total deposit.

There will be no need to sit back and foolishly wait on a lump sum payment from DFID. The scheduled payments could be taken from the annual budget as a recurrent expenditure. And payments to the civil servants could restart before budget day April 2011.

A simple non political solution to a political problem, solved through mental arithmetic with the compliments of The Montserrat Reporter.

The Montserrat Reporter, the third arm of our democracy and the true voice of civil society, we care!

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By man from baker hill

Montserratians get out of your little bird’s nest!  Flap your wings,  stand on your ‘too feat’; do not expect any more help from mother DFID with our civil servants pension contributions to the SSF. We must live within your means.  We must negotiate among ourselves a solution to the outstanding SSF contribution problem that can fit within our national budget. We must do for self.
We would recall that late 2008 the FFID Lady told Montserrat to find a solution to the Social Security and civil servant’s pension matter. Now two years later, the DFID team is here again…and still no solution.  But instead of the expected $12 million bailout they told us to live within our means.

Of course DFID knows that last year ‘the Montserrat nine’, our legislators, received over $1 million in salaries and allowances. They also know that since last year the retired civil servants received no SSF pension and may not get another dollar for the next year. So clearly we must find a way to restart the SSF pension payments to the retired civil servants.

Frustrated and weary the pensioners worry and beg for a real solution.  Every month The Montserrat Reporter has been bombarded by queries and complaints over the non-payment of their SSF pensions.

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So how about the solution developed by Montserratians? We can do it for ourselves. And sometimes we have to ‘go easy’ with the advice and recommendations of pension experts and expensive consultants. Sure, we can use the advice as guidance.

Now, here is a real solution, ‘The Montserrat Reporter’s solution to the SSF, Civil Servants Pension Solution.

We have to go back. Yes, go back to arithmetic, just the good old days of mental arithmetic. It is that simple.

Let us go back to the year 2006 when an agreement was made to put extra money in the pockets of retired civil servants. Let us accept the agreement and acknowledge that the Government owed the Social Security $20 million in contributions for the past and present employees who were on record since 1986.

First, let us examine the list of employees and separate it into three categories.

One category will be those employees who were age 60 on or before 2006. Another category will be those employees who will become age 60 between 2006 and 2015, and the last category will be those employees who will become age 60 after 2015.

Second, calculate the total contributions due on behalf of each category of employees and keep the amounts separate. We will have an amount for employees who were age 60 on or before 2006 as well as amounts for the other two categories.

Third, let us revisit the payment arrangement for the $20 million with the Social Security Fund and agree to the following terms and conditions:
T o acknowledge the original debt due to the SSF because of unpaid contributions for civil servants.

To consider all payments towards that debt as deposits on account only.

“To apply that deposit towards the amount due for the category of employees who were age 60 on or before 2006.

To pay the balance of the debt, due for the other categories, over a period of 20 years with interest at a reasonable rate.

If however, a civil servant becomes age 60 between 2006 and 2015, agree to pay the SSF the balance or the full contributions due for that employee; the payment must be made after his 59th birthday but before his 60th birthday.

If $8 million has already been paid to the SSF, then the balance can be scheduled over the next 20 years at less than $1 million dollars a year”.

That seems a very simple solution!  The benefits are immediate.  All pensioners will receive their age pension, assuming that the amount due for the category of employees who became age 60 on or before 2006 is less than the total deposit.

There will be no need to sit back and foolishly wait on a lump sum payment from DFID. The scheduled payments could be taken from the annual budget as a recurrent expenditure. And payments to the civil servants could restart before budget day April 2011.

A simple non political solution to a political problem, solved through mental arithmetic with the compliments of The Montserrat Reporter.

The Montserrat Reporter, the third arm of our democracy and the true voice of civil society, we care!