MM writes: Government must address the amount of funds paid to retired civil servants on ex-gratia pensions. This amount is currently set at CI$300 per month for anyone who was employed for less than 10 years or CI$500 per month to anyone who was employed for 10 or more years with the government prior to pensions contribution being introduced to Cayman.
I believe it is safe to say that one cannot expect a retired person to survive on CI$300 a month.
I am aware of someone that has a combined tenure with government of 21 years; 12 years after pensions and 9 years prior to pensions being introduced and they are receiving CI$300 per month in ex-gratia only.
The now 70+ year old individual is receiving CI$300 because the pensions contributions gained during the 12 years employment after pensions contributions were introduced was exhausted when the government placed the person on the “permanent and pensionable” contract after retirement at 60.
The permanent and pensionable contract allows a worker to continue working past 60, but they are paid pensions and salary together but no longer contribute to pensions.
Unfortunately, the pensions department did not make it clear to this older Caymanian that taking that option would mean they were left with nothing coming in at all monthly after final retirement.
Fortunately, this person was employed previously with the government in the 60’s and was able to claim the ex-gratia. If the person had not had a history with government, they would be receiving absolutely no income at this time! (I am curious to know how many people are actually in that situation.)
Considering how the cost of living has increased, this is an area that the government should have a look at, at least increasing the $300 to $500 and perhaps the $500 to $800.
So much for all the rant about older persons mattering or perhaps this particular process has just been overlooked. But if our government is truly taking proactive steps to ensure the well-being of our senior citizens, I would think ensuring they have enough to live on would be the first step (especially a past civil servant).