PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel will be submitting an amendment to the Old Age Pension Law that would see pensioners receive their monthly funds a few days prior to the first of every month.
The MP said that if Members of Parliament and Government can get pay on the 25th of every month, then the most vulnerable people in the community should be getting the same. “It does not sit good on my conscience that seniors, depending on their bank or some other circumstance, have to wait until the 4th or even 5th of the month before receiving their money and suffering the consequences and indignity of such. It cannot stand,” MP Emmanuel said.
He explained that seniors are confused about the change from being paid a few days before, to the first of the month. Although the Old Age Pension Law stipulates that pensions “commence” on the first of every month, SZV was transferring funds a few days prior to the first in line with regular payroll. The Windward Islands Bank would payout the same day, while seniors with accounts at other banks would wait three working days. In any case, seniors were getting their pension payments before the first of the month.
Seniors became accustomed to this system and some are still confused and very upset at the change since having to wait three business days means getting money four or five days into the months after the payments are processed on the first. “It can’t be that our seniors are at the mercy of a law that doesn’t take realities and bank processes into consideration. Some seniors are solely dependent on this money,” MP Emmanuel said.
The MP said he has started his due diligence in order to get the amendment on the floor of Parliament in the shortest possible time and will update the public accordingly.