PHILIPSBURG:--- On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson met with Sint Maarten Pension Fund (APS) Adjunct Director and Manager Pension Administration Mr. Oscar Williams, APS Senior Pension Administrator Eric Tjon Tam Pau, HR Senior Policy Advisor Florence Marlin, HR Consultant Grace Marlin-Blijden and support staff to discuss the next step of the calculations process for the finalization and approval of the draft Legal Position Regulation for the Police of Sint Maarten. This step includes the incorporation of the 16.3% retroactive pension calculations for law enforcement personnel of the Ministry of Justice which will be updated in the ongoing placement process.
APS was established on October 10, 2010, after Sint Maarten became an autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. APS executes the pension plan for employees of the government, institutions affiliated with the government, and employees in a number of education(al) institutions.
“I am elated to arrive one step closer to our goal of having the calculations completed by engaging with APS. APS understands the urgency of having this meticulous process finalized, as such, they have committed to work diligently with the Ministry of Justice,” stated Minister Richardson.
Since October 2010, all law enforcement personnel, including police officers, administrative and technical personnel of the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM), the National Detectives, and Immigration and Border Protection Services (IBP) are being paid the salary and compensations that they received prior to October 10, 2010, in the Netherlands Antilles. In comparison to other civil servants working for the Government of Sint Maarten, the salaries of KPSM, the National Detectives, and IBP personnel were not adjusted to include 16.3% equal to the Windward Islands allowance they were paid in the days of the Netherlands Antilles. However, law enforcement personnel continued to get the 16.3% as an allowance, as such it was not included in the gross amount of their monthly salaries.
In the meeting, it was agreed that APS will review the pension calculations for all justice employees and make the necessary updates to their administration. This also includes the execution of the correct pension rectifications for the personnel of KPSM, the National Detectives, and IBP. This will ensure that the data related to their pension is calculated accurately.
To ensure that the Government of Sint Maarten is in compliance with Article 20 of the Kingdom Act financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Rijkswet Financieel Toezicht Curaçao en Sint Maarten), the Ministry of Justice continues to diligently work on the finalization of the total debt amount that the government will have to pay the justice employees over a three-to-five-year period as agreed in the established Covenant agreement between the Minister of Justice and the union representatives.
Once APS has completed the pending calculations to include the 16.3%, the calculation process will end. Subsequently, to avoid any discrepancies in the amounts to be paid out to the respective justice employees, the data of the total calculations will be submitted to SOAB for auditing. Upon receipt of the audited report from SOAB, Minister Richardson will once again send the completed National Decree containing General Measures (Lbham) in connection with the new police law with the new salary scales and the approved Function Book back to His Excellency Governor Ajamu Baly for approval and signature.
“As the calculation and placement process continues to progress closer to the finish line, I take this time to thank all personnel of the Ministry of Justice for their patience. I promised to provide updates to ensure that you are aware of the status of this process. I assure you, and everyone involved in these undertakings is working diligently to have this all completed within short,” stated Minister Richardson.