Minister of Finance meets General Pension Fund of Sint Maarten board


The Minister of Finance and Ministry of Finance officials as well as others listening attentively to the presentation by APS board and management in the Dr. A.C. Wathey Hall.


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Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto says that the General Pension Fund of Sint Maarten (APS) as of January 2012 will be paying out the pension of all former civil servants who have been receiving their pension from the General Pension Fund of the Netherlands Antilles (APNA).

On Monday APS Board and Management gave what has been described as an extensive presentation to the Minister of Finance with respect to the state of affairs of the country’s pension system.

A steering group with a representative of the board of APS as well as a representative of the cabinet of the Minister of Finance will be formed shortly to guide and monitor some of the more technical exercises which still have to be completed such as having all administrations be on one line as far as pensions premium contributions and personnel information is concerned.

"The APS fund is in its developmental phase and is hard at work to make this fund work efficiently and maintain its solvency as well provide adequate service to its customers both internal and external.

"We were informed of the progress that has been made since the establishment of our national pension fund. The investment policy was also discussed at length as well as the challenges facing APS. Things are looking positive for 2012, but prudence is necessary in managing our pension system. We have to look at ways of keeping the pension fund solvent and manageable.

"As we all know, pension systems in Europe and other parts of the world are under heavy stress due to the global financial and economic situation. Some very important decisions will have to be made in order to be able to deal with the costs involved in 15-20 years when our society would have aged considerably.

"I have confidence in the board and management of APS that we will weather these challenging times based on the resilience of our people," Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto said on Monday.

The Minister of Finance also pointed out that payment arrangements between government and the fund was discussed on a technical level and this too requires monitoring in order to ensure that payment of premiums are done in a correct and timely manner.

Also discussed were payment arrears from the government, and the solution to remain current as well as try to catch up with the outstanding amounts which is to be finalized soon.

Proper coordination between the Personnel Department, Salaries and Wages, and the fund is of utmost importance, and this too is currently being done, the Minister of Finance explained on Monday.

Attending the presentation were two members from the Governments Accounting Bureau SOAB, two external advisors from MONTAE Investment Firm, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, Head of the Accounting Department, the Concern Controller, as well as staff from the Ministry of Finance.