Both the Public Service Union and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union are doing their part in highlighting various NIS misleading statements via their radio programmes. “Teachers’ Talk” recently addressed the troubling issue of public servants earning a pension that is 127% of what they were working for. Is that statement true? If it is, how often does it occur? What is its impact?
Scenario: Someone says not to go to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) because it has a volcano that can erupt and has erupted recently. Is there a volcano in SVG? Yes. Has it erupted recently? Yes. Can it erupt again? Possibly. Does it erupt frequently? No.
Is the information listed in the scenario enough to dissuade someone from visiting SVG? It depends on how the statement is conveyed, as it can be used in a misleading manner. The truth can be misleading when the intent is to deceive someone. To publicly tell a nation that public servants make 127% of their salary after retirement is the same as telling people to refrain from visiting SVG because it has a volcano that erupted and can erupt again, without any historical and practical context. The likelihood of a public servant getting 127% after retirement is thinner than graphene.
So let us look at five questions to address this topic.
- Question: Can public servants make 127% of their salary after retirement?
- Question: Do most public servants get 127% of their salary after retirement?
- Question: What percentage of public servants get 127% of their salary after retirement?
Answer: Less than 0.0005% of public servants in the history of the public service
- Question: What category or grade of public servant has a chance to make 127%?
Answer: Public servants in the second salary point of grade F or 8.
- Question: How can a public servant have a chance to make 127%?
Answer: The only way a public servant will make 127% of their salary after retirement is if ALL five of the following criteria are satisfied:
- The public servant must have 33 1/3 years of pensionable service.
- They must choose to take the public service option of a “Full Pension”, which is 67% of their last public service salary. There is no gratuity granted upon retirement with this option.
- Your pre-retirement monthly salary is EC$$4,345 or less.
- The public servant must have at least 45 years of paid contributions to the NIS.
- After satisfying all the above, the public servant must reach the age of 65 to collect a “full-age” NIS pension.
How many public servants do you know who have satisfied all of the previously mentioned criteria?
How many public servants do you know who will satisfy all of the previously mentioned criteria?
Using the scare-mongering tactic of 127% to justify pension reform is akin to an alarmist saying “Do not go to SVG because it has snakes”. Does SVG have snakes? Yes. Are they venomous, harmful, or detrimental to the human population of SVG? No.
In conclusion, a public servant’s total pension if they reach age 65 will range from 71-105% of their salary before retirement, not 127%. The reality is not as bad as it seems. Some people engage in “BIG LIES”, while some prefer to engage in “MISLEADING TRUTHS”. How can people trust the officials who continuously engage in these sorts of propaganda and civil war tactics? The NIS needs to be more transparent and independent of government interference. The evasive and disingenuous manner in which parametric reforms are approached says a lot about the mindset of those tasked with championing these reforms.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].