The Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands PCN denied allegations made by the Dutch 50PLUS party about possible embezzlement reported on in Monday’s paper. Member of the First Chamber of Parliament in The Hague Jan Nagel had stated that hundreds of public employees in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES Islands) lost pension premiums totalling millions and suggested fraud.
PCN explained that it took over the responsibility for pensions in the three new special overseas public bodies from the – no longer existent – Antillean General pension Fund APNA after the dismantling of the former Netherlands Antilles per 10-10-10. When the APNA archives were transferred in 2013 all 2,000 files were analysed.
“It turned out a number of participants were not or not correctly registered in the administration of APNA. The reason is that employers failed to give their information needed for participation. It regards for example national decrees with the date of entering in service, salary data and medical tests for appointments,” said PCN chairman Harald Linkels.
He acknowledged that there are a few known individuals who appeared to have lost a considerable number of pension years.
“But in most cases there were small problems. Sometimes a birth date was wrong or people registered say two or three months after their service began. Often employees can show with for example salary slips that they have a right to the pension, but recovering the information in certain cases takes time.”
Linkels emphasised that the confusion stems from before 10-10-10 and is not just the responsibility of the pension fund, but of (former) employers concerned. “In some cases a premium was withheld but not transferred possibly because the worker had yet to be registered as participant in APNA. These employers will still have to pay this money once all data are known and PCN can calculate the pensions,”
The chairman assured that they are doing everything in their power to determine what is owed and bill the responsible employer. Priority was given to those who retired in the past period and the build-up of pensions since 2010.
According to PCN, the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is well aware of the situation. Despite the administrative shortcomings, they see no reason to suspect irregularities or bad intentions.
The Daily Herald.