Some public service pensioners are receiving far less than what is now paid to a domestic worker

Dear Editor,

The decision to impose a $35,000 national minimum monthly salary and a 40-hour work week is indeed commendable, as it brings within its fold all those marginalized employees in the private sector.

But, what about those pensioners within the public service who are receiving 50% on the minimum scale, ie Band 1, which currently amounts to far less than that now paid to a domestic worker?

Can someone say what rationale was used to pay the 50%, since the Pensions Act clearly states that a person shall not exceed two-thirds of the highest emoluments drawn by an officer at any time in the course of his service ‒ which raises another question.

Why 50% on the minimum scale and not on the scale at the time of retirement?  This is grossly unfair, given that persons currently performing similar duties at retirement would be paid two-thirds on the scale in which their occupation falls, while their counterparts suffer the ignominy of receiving 50% on the minimum scale.

Granted, the 50% are paid to those public servants who retired when salaries were at a depressed level, but why should they suffer because of this anomaly? Some of these retirees who exceed the minimum NIS ceiling are already being short-changed by not receiving the government increases on their NIS pension.

It would appear that some pensioners are fast becoming a forgotten lot.

Yours faithfully,
D Sookdeo

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