Categorized | Opinions

WANTED: A PENSION LAW FOR MONTSERRAT WORKERS

by Man from Baker Hill

It is difficult to accept that in the 21st century Montserrat does not have an Occupational Pension Law. What a horrible shame this is. Imagine, since 2007 both politicians and civil servants pensions have been a serious cause of concern for the UK and Montserrat governments, economically, socially and politically. Yet no one has recognized that Montserrat needs a Law to provide for the establishment, management and regulation of occupational pension plans, IN FACT ALL PENSIONS.

Clearly Montserrat is only a paradise for civil servants and politicians, while the other workers catch hell. Since 1948 or thereabouts there has been a Pension Law to regulate only civil servants pension. And sometime in the 1980’s the politicians created a law to make sure that they too get a pension. But neither of those two groups contributes one red cent to their pensions.

It is hurtful to see the lengths they (POLITICO CIVIL SERVANTS) will go to bleed the public purse. It was just this week I heard the CM say that he will amend the Law to ensure that these non-contributory pensions are passed on to the dependants of the pensioners.  But he is confused; his words were, “the civil servants must not die with their pensions”.

I wonder how he can prevent a pensioner from dying with his pension. A pension cannot stop unless the pensioner dies. You must die before your pension stops. Well… he could create an insurance company and transfer all government pension funds to it; and in the short-run, declare the company bankrupt. In that case the civil servants will die without a pension. For them it would be an unlooked for event, another accident of our current political times.

Yes, bankruptcy, insurance companies and occupational pension Law are the purpose of this article. It is no secret that there are several employee groups with occupational pension plans on Montserrat. At the moment these employees are living lives of desperation because there was never a Law in place to protect them and to regulate their pensions schemes. Unlike civil servants and politicians, these employees contributed to their pensions and some of the insurance companies are near bankruptcy. They paid monies into a fund to prepare for a pension; it is their money. But nobody cares about them.

Every politician in Montserrat knows the problems within the pension and insurance industry of the Caribbean. Still there is no law on the horizon for occupational pensions.
No, nobody cares about these workers! They are not civil servants. The workers have already voted. THEY ARE NOT NEEDED UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTIONS!

Yet the government spent British taxpayers money in the tens of thousands of dollars on consultations and recommendations to amend the civil servants Pension Law.  Shabby recommendations though! No professional could adequately consider replacement income for pension purposes without studying the income tax laws of that country. DFID beware! You cannot compare the replacement income of Anguilans with Montserratians. The Income Tax Laws are different.

In Anguilla no worker pays income tax, where-as in Montserrat, only pensioners do not pay income tax (on their pension).  A replacement income of 85% is unjust; that replacement income on Montserrat will yield a pension of 110 % of final salary.

And talk about replacement income, the situation with the occupational schemes is no different to that of the civil servants. Their pension income combined with the SSF will yield retirement income in excess of 120% of final salary.  And if adjusted for tax-free pension, this might result in 150% of final salary. This is pension, Montserrat style.

There are so many reasons why the Occupational Pension law is absolutely essential now.  The employers and employees need instructions to deal with outmoded pension schemes; and these instructions can only be embodied in a law. And most importantly The Law should protect Montserratians from insurance companies who in the very recent past have been selling pension products disguised as banking instruments. That is another horror story destined to bring about depression and gnashing of teeth to some Montserratians.

This subject is complex; so for the time being I say no more.
But, WANTED, really WANTED: A legislator who wants to be recorded in Montserrat’s history as the one who introduced a workers Bill; the Bill to provide for the management and regulation of occupational pensions.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Man from Baker Hill

It is difficult to accept that in the 21st century Montserrat does not have an Occupational Pension Law. What a horrible shame this is. Imagine, since 2007 both politicians and civil servants pensions have been a serious cause of concern for the UK and Montserrat governments, economically, socially and politically. Yet no one has recognized that Montserrat needs a Law to provide for the establishment, management and regulation of occupational pension plans, IN FACT ALL PENSIONS.

Clearly Montserrat is only a paradise for civil servants and politicians, while the other workers catch hell. Since 1948 or thereabouts there has been a Pension Law to regulate only civil servants pension. And sometime in the 1980’s the politicians created a law to make sure that they too get a pension. But neither of those two groups contributes one red cent to their pensions.

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It is hurtful to see the lengths they (POLITICO CIVIL SERVANTS) will go to bleed the public purse. It was just this week I heard the CM say that he will amend the Law to ensure that these non-contributory pensions are passed on to the dependants of the pensioners.  But he is confused; his words were, “the civil servants must not die with their pensions”.

I wonder how he can prevent a pensioner from dying with his pension. A pension cannot stop unless the pensioner dies. You must die before your pension stops. Well… he could create an insurance company and transfer all government pension funds to it; and in the short-run, declare the company bankrupt. In that case the civil servants will die without a pension. For them it would be an unlooked for event, another accident of our current political times.

Yes, bankruptcy, insurance companies and occupational pension Law are the purpose of this article. It is no secret that there are several employee groups with occupational pension plans on Montserrat. At the moment these employees are living lives of desperation because there was never a Law in place to protect them and to regulate their pensions schemes. Unlike civil servants and politicians, these employees contributed to their pensions and some of the insurance companies are near bankruptcy. They paid monies into a fund to prepare for a pension; it is their money. But nobody cares about them.

Every politician in Montserrat knows the problems within the pension and insurance industry of the Caribbean. Still there is no law on the horizon for occupational pensions.
No, nobody cares about these workers! They are not civil servants. The workers have already voted. THEY ARE NOT NEEDED UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTIONS!

Yet the government spent British taxpayers money in the tens of thousands of dollars on consultations and recommendations to amend the civil servants Pension Law.  Shabby recommendations though! No professional could adequately consider replacement income for pension purposes without studying the income tax laws of that country. DFID beware! You cannot compare the replacement income of Anguilans with Montserratians. The Income Tax Laws are different.

In Anguilla no worker pays income tax, where-as in Montserrat, only pensioners do not pay income tax (on their pension).  A replacement income of 85% is unjust; that replacement income on Montserrat will yield a pension of 110 % of final salary.

And talk about replacement income, the situation with the occupational schemes is no different to that of the civil servants. Their pension income combined with the SSF will yield retirement income in excess of 120% of final salary.  And if adjusted for tax-free pension, this might result in 150% of final salary. This is pension, Montserrat style.

There are so many reasons why the Occupational Pension law is absolutely essential now.  The employers and employees need instructions to deal with outmoded pension schemes; and these instructions can only be embodied in a law. And most importantly The Law should protect Montserratians from insurance companies who in the very recent past have been selling pension products disguised as banking instruments. That is another horror story destined to bring about depression and gnashing of teeth to some Montserratians.

This subject is complex; so for the time being I say no more.
But, WANTED, really WANTED: A legislator who wants to be recorded in Montserrat’s history as the one who introduced a workers Bill; the Bill to provide for the management and regulation of occupational pensions.