APS MAKES PRESENTATION TO FINANCE MINISTER -First budget after 10-10-10 presented to minister


Presentation of the APS budget by APS director Kendra Arnell (at right) to Minister of Finance, Hiro Shigemoto – in the presence of APS board chairman, Franklyn Richards (at left)

Representatives of St. Maarten’s new pension fund organization made a detailed presentation on the progress of the organization to the Minister of Finance, Hiro Shigemoto, on Monday. The new pension fund is known as APS, which is the Dutch abbreviation for ‘Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten’ (General Pension Fund St. Maarten).

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APS is now responsible for, among others, the execution of the national pension fund ordinance of country St. Maarten. Members of the fund include active civil servants, former civil servants and employees of government owned companies.

With the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles as of October 10, 2010, services rendered by APNA have been taken over by this new entity. The establishment of APS is truly a historic exercise, with the country of St. Maarten having to assume its own responsibilities with regards to carrying out all pension tasks, previously assigned to the APNA, headquartered in Curacao.

The organization falls under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Finance and has a board comprised of an independent chairman, who is also a member, and four other members. The members of the board are former Governor Franklyn E. Richards (chairman), attorney at law Richard F. Gibson (member), lawyer Eunicio S. Martina (member), manager at a local bank, Alfred de Windt (member) and businessman Michel Soons (member).

The national pension fund ordinance also makes provisions for a three member investment committee consisting of experts.

Members of the investment committee are Francis Bowman, manager at a local company and Myrtille Brookson, branch manager at an insurance firm. The third member is yet to be appointed.


The committee will advise the board of directors on how to invest the monies which have to be invested according to, among others, the 60-40 rule established by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten. At least 60 per cent has to be invested locally and up to a maximum of 40 per cent can be invested elsewhere.


Tasked with the daily operation of the fund is APS director Kendra Arnell and personnel.

A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the first APS budget to be presented to the Minister of Finance, after St. Maarten attained its separate status on October 10, 2010. The budget was presented by APS director Kendra Arnell, witnessed by board chairman Franklyn Richards. The budget presented covers the 2010 -2011 period.

Based on the national pension fund ordinance, APS is subject to supervision by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.


APS aims to achieve the highest possible returns through prudent investments of the fund’s assets, thereby contributing to the well-being of the members of the pension fund by securing future pension incomes, says board chairman Franklyn Richards.


"This is a momentous development for our country. The potential for the fund to invest in St. Maarten is certainly present. This must be done in a most responsible manner in order to safeguard the longevity and strength of the fund for future generations", say APS officials.


APS says that they take the interests of their stakeholders most seriously and that employers, employees and pensioners can rest assured that APS is looking towards the long term in representing the interests of their clients.


Whereas APS mainly handles pension matters for present and former workers of government and government related organizations, APS does not handle other areas such as the old age pension of AOW recipients.


Participation in a pension fund is a major benefit for government employees. Enrolment in the pension plan is mandatory for every employee who started employment on a contract or with an appointment for longer than 6 months, on or after January 1st, 1998. Prior to this, participation was on a voluntary basis.


The pension premium is partly paid by the employee (currently 8%, withheld from salary by the employer) and partly by the employer (currently around 14%, visible on the employee’s pay slip).


From its temporary offices located at Cay Hill, APS has been diligently working on incorporating all pension schemes of government owned / related entities in its business model as well as introducing the finest possible level of service. This in keeping with its "objective of developing APS as a most efficient, professional and customer friendly organization", according to APS director Kendra Arnell. APS is scheduled to relocate to the Yogesh Commercial Complex in February upcoming.

The Minister of Finance and staff were able to pose relevant questions pertaining to APS, with APS representatives providing detailed responses to those questions. Among the points raised by the minister was that of local investment opportunities by APS. Officials of the general pension fund assured the minister that APS would certainly entertain such possibilities, once they meet requirements as outlined by APS investment guidelines.