Contact: Adhara King
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 – For the first time in four years, Saint Lucian pensioners have received an increase in their pension.
Prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King announced the initiative in his presentation of the estimates of expenditure for 2009-2010.
“Government pensioners last received an increase in their pensions in May 2005. While this Government has made it possible to keep prices of basic food commodities from rising, the reality is that the cost of living has since increased, eroding the real value of pensions. Medication and health services, for example, have become more expensive,” said the prime minister.
The prime minister emphasized the need to demonstrate social responsibility to older citizens who may no longer be able to actively contribute, but have made a difference in their own right.
“While I am aware that government is under no legal obligation to effect increases to pensions, we consider it our moral responsibility to look after the welfare of our senior citizens whose hard work and industry built the economic foundation of this country,” King said.
The planned increase is structured in four parts: the first is for persons who retired prior to April 01, 2003, and they will receive a 5% increase. Persons retiring prior to April 1 of 2004, 2005, and 2006 will receive a four, three and two percent increase respectively.
The prime minister said the formula has generally been used in the past and has proven to be an equitable method of computing pension increases. Those increases took effect from May 01, 2009.
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