On Thursday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar met with the press outside the party headquarters, where he was the scheduled guest on party station WAVE Radio’s morning program. He spoke to us about the removal of the Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Scheme, which under law was instituted to provide a source of income for relatives of deceased public officers. But according to John Saldivar, Cabinet acted on the wishes of public servants and voted this week to remove it.
Hon. John Saldivar: “Yes, Cabinet has voted to discontinue the widows and orphan program or pension scheme. It’s a program where male public officers used to have to pay, I believe 2%- 2.5% of their salary into a scheme, so that if they were to die before leaving the public service, their widows and children would get a benefit. We are discontinuing that. Public officers have been clamoring this for a while now, and so, we finally agreed to discontinue the program”.
Reporter: “Is there anything to replace it?”
Hon. John Saldivar: “No, no; nothing to replace it”.
Reporter: “So that’s something that widows have lost as a benefit”.
Hon. John Saldivar: “Well, technically, public officers felt that that’s not a good scheme that many of them benefit from”.
The Scheme is endorsed in the law on pensions; it is not clear if this section of the law will be repealed.