300 retired CIG workers get pension top-up

| 23/07/2018 | 49 Comments

(CNS): Retired civil servants who have found themselves unable to make ends meet due to their meagre pensions are now receiving top-up payments from the public purse. The plan to ensure that the 300+ former public sector workers have an income at least equal to that of seamen, veterans and those receiving poor relief was announced during the presentation of the 2018/19 two-year budget, though government has only just begun making these payments as it has been working out exactly who is eligible. However, the new ex-gratia uplift payments will be backdated to the start of this year.

The move brings those public servants who have been retired for ten years or more in line with poor relief payments.

Public Service Pensions Board MD Jewel Evans Lindsey said work continues on fine tuning the exact number of pensioners who will be impacted and the cost to government, but estimates suggest that more than 300 public sector pensioners will qualify at the $650 threshold in 2018 and the $750 threshold in 2019.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was happy to see this top-up come into effect for those who served the country for many years but who are now retired and receive less, in some cases far less, than those receiving poor relief. “This is a commitment my government made in the early months of our tenure and the funding was approved in the 2018-2019 budget,” he noted.

The current ex-gratia pensions scheme pays out $1.4 million a year. The latest ex-gratia uplift initiative is estimated to increase that amount to $2.1 million in 2018 and $2.5 million in 2019.

The uplift provisions for eligible pensioners were approved by Cabinet last month and apply to retired Caymanian government workers who were 60 years or older before 1 June 2018 and who have a minimum of 10 years of pensionable service. If they were 60 after 1 June, similar provisions apply but the age requirement increases to 65 in line with the new retirement age.

Identified eligible pensioners have already been provided with their new ex-gratia uplift payment and their retroactive payment. To check eligibility for the ex-gratia uplift payment, pensioners can complete a five-question survey on the Public Service Pensions Board website.

Any pensioner who did not receive the uplift and feels they meet the eligibility requirements should contact the PSPB before 31 August by calling 945-8175 or emailing to uplift@pspb.ky.

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Category: Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This action is commendable but it remains flawed. For retirees who did not become 60 by June 1, 2018, they will have to wait until they’re 65 to be eligible. Clearly these people need this increase to their pensions now! In another 5 or more years (I know an otherwise eligible retiree who is just 55 now) that increase will be valueless!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Expat govt teachers didn’t get pension entitlement. They are now elderly and considered Caymanians for over 10 years. What about them?

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    • Double dippers says:

      The expat Govt teachers then go to work for the private schools, after retirement age, get the insurance coverage of both Cinico and the private school, then retire from the private school.

      Those people then have lots of money to open their own businesses and keep the insurance coverage of Cinico as well their Government pension.

      Double dippers! The majority of them don’t need it. They already are better off because the Caymanian was forced to retire but they, being expats were allowed to work longer in the private sector.

      These are facts.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually not the truth whatsoever. Many were not entitled to CINICO nor were they entitled to pension. They are not well off. They are struggling in the Cayman Islands. They did not go on to work in the private schools because they were already pensionable age and most private schools do not want to hire older teachers 60+ years of age. Some of these teachers are now deceased and did not receive one penny of pension and funded their own private health care.

        I speak as a family member of the ex gratia teacher. They were not treated as well as you believe. If this is the case now for the new expat teachers, then good on them. However, the expat teachers from the 70s and 80s were not entitled to anything and remain entitled to no benefits.

        If there is something that these elderly women and men can do to retrieve their pensions, please someone provide details.

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        • Double dippers says:

          Actually this is the truth.
          I know personally of the situation I described above. I saw the Cinico insurance being abused while the other insurance company was also being used.

          And yes this individual had retired and then worked for a private school.

          They have now opened a business which I won’t name for obvious reasons.

          I certainly wouldn’t have posted it and called it facts if I hadn’t seen this for myself.

          • Anonymous says:

            So you’re extrapolating one person then. Great. Nothing stopping born and bred Caymanians teaching in private schools either.

            • Anonymous says:

              This is not one person. This is the entire set of expat teachers from the 70s/80s when pension originally wasn’t law. When the law came into effect they remained excluded even after they were considered Caymanian because they were distinguished as only paper Caymanians.

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  3. Lulu from Scranton says:

    The ppm are sick !!!!!STop Complaining about the boardwalk you voted for the useless PPM’s Door nob and her sidekick Senor Bubble Wrap Wight !

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  4. Anonymous says:

    all social welfare payments need to be means tested…..
    auditor general needs to look into this asap…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Preach. The question no seems to be asking is why the Seaman’s Association is growing? Additionally, this novel idea of compensating our forefathers who went to sea and sent back repatriations during the pre-financial era should be commended but where and when does this program end? We no longer have men going to sea like we use too so why is the cost incurred increasing?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Thumbs up to Jewell Evans Lindsay who work tireless on the pension Board trying to see to our peoples needs. She has a heart of gold and is most efficient. Just hope that one day she will receive an award.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    While I can appreciate this increase for pensioners who were receiving less than what others get for poor relief…. I think it’s still not really addressing the problem. If a former civil servant has worked for over 10 years…. why should their pensions and ex-gratia payment equal to the amount for poor relief. Many of these retirees have given years of their service, worked hard, struggled and, fought illnesses. What should be happening is that there pension and ex-gratia should be more than poor relief. If not, government sends the wrong message of undervaluing their former employees and provides them with funds that include them in the lowest socioeconomic bracket in our society. This is simply shameful…. again this is an improvement and the Ministry of Community Affairs still don’t got it right!!!!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    In contrast some senior public servants on ‘defined’ benefits will retire on half salary for life and be making more than the average employed civil servants. Cronyism is alive and well. Some of these public servants have no qualifications other than being connected and in their positions for decades. I challenge the head of the civil service to deny this. It is about time the defined benefits are revisited and removed.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    How much did they actually get after the CUC and Water Authority increases?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Pension is only for double dipping mla’s raking in 12k per month on pension alone.
    They can make the changes, but don’t care.
    The voters seem to be more worried about gay marriage than a fair distribution of wealth.

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    • E. Nygma says:

      I love this idea that only one thing can be done at once, only one issue can be important at once
      It is possible to handle multiple issues at once contrary to what you seem to believe, what is #1 for you might not be #1 for everyone else
      It doesn’t mean your points or ideas aren’t valid or logical
      It is entirely possible for the government to handle multiple points of contention at once and for voters to speak on multiple issues
      The issue people have is them clearly doing nothing on anything of importance while instead pushing unnecessary projects through like boardwalks and cruise ports

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  10. Anonymous says:

    1:30 You are living in the dark ages. How can you say there is no Accountability in the civil service when we read of staff being arrested and fired.

    Stop being jealous of the people who make your life better. I am very grateful.

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    • Caymankind says:

      Ever read of top civil servants and their business partners ever getting arrested, charged and convicted for the obvious corruption and abuse of office as a public officer under the anti-corruption law?

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  11. Twitter says:

    I think its a shame that we have to think of ex-gratia to uplift payments. The fact that we have to do this in the year 2018, just shows a dirty rodents have made holes in our pension chest.

    And I have to wonder how many rodents and what are their names? Are the holes patched up?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    what i can’t understand is. If you put 300 dollars in an account. And this account is managed by people who take money and make money off that money for a living.
    How can the pensions board be in trouble. Unless they are spending that money on other things, which they should not be. Keep reading how they will have a hard time paying peoples pension in the coming years. When technically that’s impossible

    If i put 300 into an account. When it’s time to take it out, i should at the very least be able to take my 300 out. Unless someone is spending that money, and figuring they can just replace it later.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I guess I was rambling. But to clarify. I have read in the paper, that the pension board is saying that they will have financial difficulty paying people’s pensions in the future.
      I find this incredibly impossible. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am almost positive I read this in this very paper.

      If the government is not spending any of the pension money coming in. and I am no financial wizard. But even simply locking that money into a bank as a certificate of deposit. Would get 3 to 5% return on that money.

      So how could they be running into financial difficulty with that money. If they are not spending it?
      if a person puts in a 1000 a years. For 10 years. There should be 10k in that persons “account”.
      Now multiply that by everyone.
      How can you lose money on it? So technically they should have at the very least 10K of that persons money, (if we use the above example) and if they want to keep the 3 to 5% interest money, that they would make on interest on that money. So in other words they should be in the positive. Never a negative balance.
      So how can they be stating that they may have problems paying pensions in the future?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Look at US Social Security. They screwed that up too.

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      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        There are two reasons for your confusion. The first is that risk free deposits of your savings do not earn 3-5% in the modern world. Nowhere near that – you would be lucky to even get 1% risk free. Second, someone has to pay for the management of your money – its not free. Someone has to pay for the staff, the office space etc. That can b up to 2%. So unless the guy managing your income manages to get more than the admin charges on managing it, guess what. Savings don’t go up. – go down

      • Anonymous says:

        In your example the contributions are $10,000 (10×1,000), and if the retiree were only to get $1,000 per year for the next 10 years it wouldn’t be an issue, but if you retire at 60 you could expect to live 20 more years, so you contribute $10k and pull out $20k, or more. And that’s assuming you are only taking out the same as you put in (1,000/year).

  13. Anonymous says:

    Their pensions are “meagre” because they didn’t contribute a penny towards them.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    The public sector is like a parasite that never stops sucking blood until it dies.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So your saying government workers shouldn’t have pension when they retire?

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      • Brian Fart-Obvious says:

        That depends. If someone only worked in the civil service for a couple of years, then they should only get pension reflecting that.

        If they worked in the civil service all their life or a substantial amount of time, it should be impossible for them not to have a decent pension….unless:

        1. Their pension contributions were illegally not paid (impossible as this is the civil service)
        2. Their pension was catastrophically mismanaged/or in fact never really set aside and instead never ring-fenced/saved by government/pensions department.
        3. They worked elsewhere for substantial periods (private companies or abroad), but then they’d still be eligible for pensions from those places…in theory.
        4. They really didn’t workmuch at all during your 48 years of life between 17 and 65.

        So, which is it?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Or they worked on contracts that did not include pension. What is happening is that CIG is using these ‘ex gratia’ payments to (1) make up for a few bad employment practices of yesteryear, e.g., keeping people on ‘local temporary contract’ for years, and, (2) hide some of the poor relief needs of the country by shifting those retired civil servants who either (2a) earned so little originally that their pensions are tiny or (2b) more often were on overseas contract with ‘supplement’ but no pension, then became Caymanian and got switched to pension but no ‘supplement’ but worked of such a short time that their formal pension is not enough to live on having not banked their ‘supplement’.

          The later (2b) is a cautionary tale for all of those persons who say ‘give me my pension payments as cash because I can do better than the pension fund’. A lot of people would not. Hence the need for a mandated pension.

          PS> Remember that pensions, especailyl of the lowest earning people, whether it is CIG 12% or private sector 10% is generally not enough for you to live on when you become a pensioner. The pension companies agree on this, but the public tend to ignore it when blaming the individual for needing assistance beyond their meagre pension.

          • Caymanite says:

            Now the Private sector is following suit. They keep Caymanians on Local Temporary contracts so they don’t receive benefits.

            • Anonymous says:

              Private Sector = passing the HR bill (pension, health care, poor relief for poor wages) to the Government and then complaining about the cost.

            • Ben zenussi says:

              Of course they are …people see money running out. Caymanians first.

      • Anonymous says:

        CONTRIBUTE. 6,200 X

  15. Anonymous says:

    Correct me if I’m reading this incorrectly – is it civil servants who have been retired for ten years (regardless of their tenure with government) OR civil servants who have served ten years and are now retired (within the last ten years)? If it is the first option, shouldn’t it be that they be age 70/75 before June 2018 to be eligible for payments (retirement ages + ten years)?

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  16. Talks truth says:

    Everything they try to build in cayman y’all complain about alwwaays againts the progress and as it finish y’all killing your self to use it if youre againts the board walk just don’t use it when it’s done .

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    • Anonymous says:

      The boardwalk should’ve been built by the rich developers . It serves no purspose, only to the rich and famous.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Huh? I see mostly locals at the dock right there… pretty sure you’ll see them using the boardwalk too.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I guess I have to work a little harder? 60 hrs a week not enough.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    The South Sound boardwalk is a complete waste of money and costs more than $1.3m that money should have been used for feeding hungry kids and elderly persons. Look at how government waste your tax monies.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe to pay for better teachers cause of the whole lead a man to fish/teach a man to fish thing.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agree with this one. Pay the excellent teachers what they’re worth and can the others. And while I’m at it…far too many one on one support staff. An excellent teacher can handle some of these issues.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I certainly understand spending on education but let’s get it right. Especially on the Brac – many visiting specialists, large rollover, spending 15 minutes every week or two with a student. Not worth it. Better to hire one to stay. And while I’m at it…a one time expenditure for text books (researched and written by professionals) is more cost effective than using teacher’s time to pull research from iffy online sites…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed a good teacher worth their weight in gold. You just know the useless ones won’t get binned though.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:10pm 100 . $1.3M when our schools are in shambles!! For a boardwalk???? which if a hurricane comes I am sure it also will be in shambles…what a waste of money

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Buying wotes!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve always said, it must be very convenient and dangerous to have a close working relationship and influence over such a large percentage of the electorate
      Remember about 1/10 people in Cayman are employed in the government (somewhere around 6,250 according to recent numbers), and out of that number the vast majority upwards of 70%+ are Caymanians
      How can we expect the government to make internal cuts and limit waste and wasteful spending when in order to do so they would have to be negatively affecting voters, in Cayman a jurisdiction where 30-100 votes can make the difference (as we saw in 2017) No minister, government official or CO wants to downsize, hold persons accountable or challenge the Civil service
      At risk of the potential loss of a seat in the LA

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