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Published On: Sat, Aug 29th, 2020

APS-director Nadya van Putten: “No plans to lower pensions”


PHILIPSBURG – The article StMaartenNews.com published Friday, August 29, 2020, under the headline ‘Pension fund toys with plan to reduce pensions’ has triggered a reaction from APS director Nadya Croes-Van Putten that should put the minds of pensioners at ease: ‘At no time has APS ever been in a situation that would require such a measure to be implemented.” 

Our article was based on a compliance audit from the General Audit Chamber. This report states literally on page 13 under 4.2: “The current recovery plan (of 2019) contains far-reaching measures (including reduction of the pension).” In its preface, the audit report states: “Since inception APS has not been financially sound, as the coverage ratio of 103.8% is still lower than the required minimum of 105%.”

Van Putten notes in her reaction that “whenever a pension fund’s coverage ratio falls below 100 percent, it is required to create a recovery plan that outlines the different measures that could be taken to get the fund back to a coverage ratio of at least 100 percent.”

“In a recovery plan all the measures a fund can take according to its legal mandate are brought forward from the most benign to the most extreme,” Van Putten states. “Recovery plans are used by pension funds throughout the Dutch Caribbean, the Netherlands and the rest of the world. The measure referenced in the title (of Friday’s article – ed.) and in the third paragraph is a far-reaching measure.”

Van Putten noted that she explained in an interview in July that “if everything else fails this (lowering the pensions – ed.) would be the only measure left for the pension fund.” The director notes that several Dutch pension funds have had to cut pensions or raise premiums during the past couple of years because of their dire financial position.

“However, at no time has APS ever been in a situation that would require such a measure to be implemented. Even if the pension reform had not gone into effect, APS would have been able to survive for many more years.”

For APS, the measure that saved the day was the pension reform the Parliament of St. Maarten recently approved – the increase of the retirement age from 62 to 65. “This measure strengthens the position of the fund the most.”

The APS-director reiterates in her reaction “that in no shape or form is APS planning to reduce pensions. APS’ current draft coverage ratio stands at 108.76 percent. I urgently request StMaartenNews.com to adjust the title of the news article as it creates an erroneous impression and to avoid unnecessary unrest among APS participants.”

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