The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has advised a solution for the pension issue of (former) politicians of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops.
In a letter to the state secretary dated October 5, CFT Chairman Raymond Gradus pointed out the various risks that the financial consequences of the pensions present for the budgets of the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
The CFT advised Knops to have the building-up of pensions of (former) politicians brought in line with those of civil servants, which means a build-up of the pension based on average wage instead of last wage, conditional indexation and a lower building-up percentage.
The CFT further advised to see whether the pension entitlement can be transferred to the pension fund in order to terminate the risks for the islands’ budgets and to improve efficiency.
Pension advisor Montae & Partners was asked by the CFT to draft a report on the pension issue, which was shared with the three public entities. The CFT asked the public entities to respond, if needed. No reaction was received.
The issue of the pension burden was recently pointed out by the public entity Saba, by Finance Commissioner Bruce Zagers in particular. In addressing the Saba Island Council during the handling of the 2019 annual report, Zagers spoke of Saba’s first-time deficit of US $621,000 and the financial challenges. Part of the budget deficit was caused by the increase in the pension provision for former politicians in the amount of US $556,000. Zagers remarked that this expenditure was not budgeted, was outside the control of the public entity Saba and was not financed through any additional income.
The Daily Herald.