Sarah: French side SZV pension recipients shortchanged

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Following the establishment of SZV, as the successor of SVB, I have alerted successive directors of SZV of my assertion that the reductions in the AOV pension of pensioners living on French St. Martin were not correct.

What is being applied currently is that former workers of St. Maarten (South), who earned a pension due to their years of work over here and now living on French St. Martin, would get a reduced amount in pension, solely because they reside “across the border.”

Somewhat understandable, SZV management had a lot on their plate and this issue was not a priority.

I persisted and finally got the attention for the point I have been making all along. Not to create any havoc, I treated the issue with diplomacy and tact, but would not budge unless I would be proven wrong.

Well, I was not.

The AOV pensioners, residing on French St. Martin have been short changed and I have received the assurance of the SZV management that this practice will stop and where applicable, restitutions will be made.

There are some other matters of inconsistencies, especially where the health of our elderly is concerned that are also being addressed, again without the political rhetoric that usually surrounds issues such as these. Across the board, our elderly should receive eye care (glasses) and dental care. There are inconsistencies in the insurance packages that cover our elderly.

Care for the elderly, strong relations with French St. Martin are 2 of the top priorities for the Democratic Party.

On behalf of the “voiceless,” we thank the SZV for acknowledging this flaw and committing to solving it post haste.

To quote CFT chairman Bakker: “It’s not only about the bricks.” That’s our philosophy as well.