The Saint Lucia Association of Retired Persons, formerly the Pensioners’ Association, has welcomed a $500 one-time payment to government pensioners.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip J. Pierre announced Tuesday in parliament that the cash was in the bank.
In addition, National Insurance Corporation (NIC) pensioners will receive a 4.2% increase in monthly pension payments.
The Association of Retired Persons President, George Louis, expressed appreciation for the $500 one-time payment for government pensioners.
But Louis expressed that the pensioners should receive a monthly increase similar to contributors to the National Insurance Corporation.
However, the association President said he was not in a position to suggest the level of increase government pensioners should receive.
“The last increase to this category of workers – retired public servants, was in 2009, and you would appreciate that there are persons who retired from the service twenty years ago and even beyond,” he observed.
“You can imagine what the salary was twenty years ago, so the pension they are getting is minimal,” Louis told St Lucia Times.
He said what those individuals need is an increase in their monthly pensions.
The Association of Retired Persons President acknowledged that these are tough economic times for the government.
Nevertheless, Louis declared that public service retirees are in an even more difficult situation.
“I don’t think it would take so much more because it’s not a large number of public service retirees. In fact, this number is going to diminish,” he explained.
In this regard, Louis noted that about a decade ago the then labour administration obligated all newly appointed public servants to contribute to the NIC so that they would thereafter not be on a government pension scheme.
Headline photo: George Louis