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Report suggests that pension age be raised on St. Maarten

MONDAY, 21 MAY 2012

PHILIPSBURG–Increasing the pension age to 62 from 60 and upping the maximum income to pay premiums to NAf. 100,000 are two recommendations of a report recently delivered to outgoing Public Health, Social Development and Labour Minister Cornelius de Weever.

The “relatively conservative reform” report titled “Towards a sustainable and affordable AOV Pension System” was put together by the Steering Committee on Social Security and Pensions. Reform is seen as a continuous process that needs to be monitored, evaluated and improved gradually.

De Weever said in a press statement, “Although the steering committee recommended the age of 62 for the increase in retirement age, I would prefer a flexible retirement age between the ages of 60 and 65 depending on the individual and/or the company’s needs.”

Further research is also suggested on the consequences of making exceptions for people with little or no income and/or living in St. Maarten as a resident for 10 years, in connection with the effects on financial assistance.

Other recommendations are to increase the pension AOV to NAf. 1,000 and to strengthen the so-called second-layer pension system (private employer and employee pension plans) and research the financial consequences, conditions and constraints of implementing a mandatory second-pillar pension plan (private employer and employee pension plans).

The report will be sent to the Council of Ministers for approval as well as to the Social Economic Council SER and tripartite labour committee for feedback.

Legislative changes will have to be worked on for the AOV benefits, retirement age and change in amount of the maximum income to pay premiums.

“After listening to the needs of the seniors and pensioners association, the cries of the newly retired and those who are receiving financial assistance, I understand the need of the people to raise the AOV pension. As we look toward the future, we are looking at mandatory pension plans for all employees to ensure a better retirement package for all workers,” the minister said.


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