Mac ‘double-dips’ in pension

| 31/03/2011

(CNS): Information revealed by the Public Service Pension Board shows that the premier is doubling-dipping by taking his pension entitlement on top of his monthly salary as the country’s leader. McKeeva Bush has served more than 20 years as an elected official and is entitled to a pension based on two thirds of his pay  at the time he opted to draw down on that pension. Bush began taking his in January 2010 when he turned 55 but before his self imposed 10% reduction in his own premier’s pay packet. At the time he was earning over $14,800pcm meaning that Bush could be receiving almost $10,000 in pension payments as well as his regular pay cheque. However, the premier could have opted to take a lump sum as he is entitled to do under the terms of the MLAs’ pension.

According to the formula and rules that govern politicians’ pension entitlements,, those who have a fully vested pension can opt to take an up-front lump sum of up to 20% of the monthly entitlement multiplied by 20 years when they begin taking their pensions. In other words, the premier could have reduced his monthly payments by 20% in exchange for a cash sum of around a half million dollars.

The document released by the PSPB following an FOI request made by CNS last year did not reveal if the premier had taken the lump sum, reducing his monthly payments to under $8,000, but just the date he began drawing down and the years he has served in the country’s parliament.

All former and serving MLAs can take their pensions when they reach the age of 55 provided they have completed one full term in office. The longer the member has served, the more money they can receive — up to a full amount of two thirds of their salaries at the time of opting to take the pension.

A member who has completed one term can take one fifth of the two thirds, two terms two fifths and so on up to a member who has served twenty years, as is the case with the premier, who can then access a fully vested pension.

The request, which asked the PSPB to list the current and former MLAs who were drawing on their pensions and how long they had served in the Legislative Assembly, also shows that Kurt Tibbetts and Anthony Eden, as already publicly acknowledged, are also double-dipping on their pension entitlements, despite not being fully vested.

However, Captain Eugene Ebanks, who passed his 55th birthday and is also entitled to draw on his pension, has not yet opted to do so. Nor has Ezzard Miller, the independent MLA for North Side, who was the first MLA to raise the question on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. Miller said he thought it was “immoral” forserving members to draw a pay check and a pension and termed it “double dipping”, before announcing he intended to bring a motion to stop members from doing it in future.

Tibbetts and Eden, who were both elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1992, began taking their pensions in 2009 after serving four terms and are therefore entitled to four fifths of the two third rate of their respective salaries at the time. This means that Tibbetts will be receiving around $7,600 per month and his PPM colleague Eden about $6,900 on top of their current MLA salaries of approximately $9,000pcm.

The details of the pension payments to politicians past and present was finally released on Wednesday afternoon at around 4pm, five weeks after the information commissioner had ruled that the information was not exempt, as the board had claimed.

Despite not applying for judicial review following the commissioner’s decision, the PSPB held onto the information, as reported by CNS on Tuesday. However, the story appears to have prompted the board to finally release the list, which is posted below. 

Category: Headline News

Comments (125)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet another step towards the toilet Cayman!

  2. anonymous says:

    Is Eugene Ebanks doubling Dipping too? That will be a shame, as he don’t do anything, as an elected official. He is just there to vote "yes" for everything.

    CNS: Captain Eugene is not on the list of past and present MLAs collecting pensions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ezzard Miller please let us know if you were reigning at the time they voted for themselves to receive pension after serving 2 terms. I believe you were. Please confirm, so that we can clear the air once and for all about this pension war.
    I doubt very much it was McKeva’s idea only..

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS can you please investigate who the James Bodden is that served from 1988-2005 – It’s definately not James Manoah Bodden – and incase there is an error in his time of service. Can you find out who his pension is being paid to.

    Can you also investigate why Mr.Haig Bodden is not mentioned. And why Ms. FeFe is not getting a pension from him

    Thanks.

  5. MER says:

    Big Mac took a 3% salary cut for a 2/3 increase, not bad financial planning at all!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    How Bias can Human be- Both Kurt Tibbetts and Anthony Eden are collecting pension while Representing us- Obviously they all agreed – Why crucify McKeva only????. What is you point here? Personal issues don’t get us any where, that is why the country is not any better. You focus too much on the person (personal) and not the position. This to happen from the time they voted for themselves and passed the law the representatives serving 2 terms would be eligable to collect pension. Funny- funny- people get real and deal.

  7. MER says:

    Everytime I read this article over it makes me more and more angry because I know the struggles my mother faces as the pensions board continually declines to award her a monthly payment!

    I am her only child with my own three children so this slack falls back on me! My mother is now forced to take up domestic work to assist herself and I must say whilst retired this is not the way I pictured my mother spending her days!!!

    Words cannot express how appaulled I am, and if McKeeva Bush had a “christian heart” he would be the first to look into this matter! The laws only change or get bended when an MLA cannot have their way around it. I will not stand back and have pensions officials declare the words “permanent and pensionable” to me or my mother again! Something has to be done and I will make certain after this instance that it gets done!!!!!! Shame on you worthless MLA’s to live in the lap of luxury whilst your countries people and elderly struggle to keep head above water!!!

    • The Crown says:

      Someone has to sit Mr Fill–Land-Throw-Pist down & say look here: Mr Bush,Bushy,Mac,Jack,whatever. You are the problem with Cayman’s economy & it has taken year’s for this to get to this point. Additionally because of you we the Caymanian people will have all future politician’s on probation for…. 4 year’s,if you corn swabble at all within that time your politicing is over. We the Caymanian people cannot & will not become the beggar’s in our own country,bar none,while other’s reap the benefit of our hospitality. No politician should expect to jet set around under the guise of Mou’s & the like while the Caymanian people suffer the playful gamble of a politician. Mr Bush,Bushy,Mac,Jack,whatever,there is now a surplus of what we understand to be 40 million dollars since the recent increase in fees,but there is no reduction in fees! Mr Bush,Bushy,Mac,Jack,whatever,when preaching & talking is done ‘in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty’.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree with McKeeva being chastised for this by us the voting public but lets give Kurt and Tony Eden their licks too. Just because they were smart enough to admit this before the FOI request was honoured don’t make what they are doing right. They are no different than McKeeva. All 3 of them are doing exactly the same thing its just that two of them admitted it and the other one, McKeeva, had to be forced via an FOI request to admit it.

    I say out with McKeeva, Kurt and Tony ! When you take your pensions it tells us that its time for the 3 of you to go home !!!

    Lets have a retirement party in Northward !!! Turtle meat included.

  9. JC says:

    Ezzard states;
    “the new section of the law allows them to receive the pension without retiring- certainly not in keeping with the normal moral and ethical intentions of pensions, which would normally require one to retire before receiving a pension”

    Why would they even table such a self-serving law for only the chosen few.. Rhetorical.

    They should be required to pay it back. And then STOP inventing new laws to benefit themselves!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Surely a pension is paid on retirement, the fact that you have been employed for the maximin number of years required to qualify only means that if you choose to retire that is the level of pension you are entitled to receive. The point being after you cease to be employed by that employer not as bonus payment.

  11. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    I am happy to see these MP, especially McKeeva is getting a proper thrashing in the public for being so greedy, it’s like a drug for them, the more they get the more they want.

    I have a suggestion as of Dec 2010 there were 15,267 voters in the Cayman Islands, let’s get 7787 willing persons sign a petition and take it to the governor and demand changes.

    According to the Miller Report, we taxpayers already face a $300mm “black hole” in pension funding for public sector workers. This is the shortfall between the cash set aside and the money needed to pay pensions for hundred of teachers, nurses, doctors, civil servants and bureaucrats and we have to deal with these greedy spineless pigs.

    The people need to address this issue and stop the double-dipping, no MP should not be allowed to draw on a pension WHILE STILL REPRESENTING, this is unheard of in any other civilized place, this has to be made clear to these MP’s if they take the pension they have to step down.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Of course this is happening. This is just another aspect of the huge ‘closing down’ sale taking place.

  13. 1Wesbaya says:

    Wutless!!!!!Shame Shame Shame!

  14. Anonymous says:

    These disgusting people are always full of jesus this and god that, but when it comes to money, they grab what they can.

    Another demonstration of christianity in cayman.

    Pension is reserved for the time one retires. It is not an extra pot you can grab from. But easy for them,because they made the law specific for them.

    What a disgusting place these cayman islands !!!

  15. Jonathan says:

    I truly believe that all that we as people of this small country can see going on is only the very tip of a gigantic and toxic iceberg. XXXX It is my fervent wish that this perpetraitor be permanently banished from any and all positions of power in this or any other country as he is the greatest liability and worst enemy that the Cayman Islands has, bar none. The fox is in the henhouse and he needs to get what the duck got, the sooner the better because by 2013 it is my humble opinion that the damage done will be catastrophic and completely irreversible. If this man, his cronies and puppetmasters, or anyone else who puts themself before the good of this country are allowed to continue, the future of this country is going to be very bleak.

    Regardless of the context of this article and whether or not this is truly "double dipping", the blatant prostitution and outright butchery of the past, present and future of this country has to stop and I for one am open to all suggestions as to how this can be achieved peacefully. If one were to look at the history of Cuba one would see how the abuses at the hand of Batista and his cronies ultimately led to a revolution which ended up throwing the baby out with the bathwater and it is a lesson to learn that should be taken into account and heeded with the gravity it deserves. The similarities are truly astounding.

    If these abuses of power are allowed to continue unabated then when change comes it could well turn out to be from frying pan to fire. We must dispose of this despot and rid his stench from the collective consciousness of this country forthwith. I am much more fearful of the effect he is having and has had on this country and her people than anything which he could do to me personally and to those who would speak up and sign their name but are fearful of repurcussions, I quote the words of a past American president in times of great turbulence; "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

    In the aftermath of hurricane Michelle, McKeeva Bush staged a coup and descended as a buzzard on a weakened animal in a play for his own good and not for the country as a whole by any means. The time has come for the shoe to be on the other foot except this time it will be for the good of this country. Will the real patriots of the Cayman Islands please stand up and be counted, time is of the essence and that is what it boils down to. It is only then that we as a country will be able to attack and work to find the solutions to the myriad and ever increasing problems which this country is facing. At the very least the man is unworthy of his post and he is not a part of the solution, he is a part of the problem. I truly believe this and I will fight for the right of anyone who disagrees with me to do so, that is called democracy. God bless the Cayman Islands, we need it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure it’s actually wrong (within Cayman Law) to draw on a pension as a still serving MLA. Probably not as it happens…

      However that does not make it morally right.. indeed it;s far, far from it and in most civilized nations probably illegal…

      However this is part of a bigger picture and Cayman must wake up and see it and fast.. Leaders draining pension funds, PM’s becoming Finance Ministers and signing currency..the whole LA actually having not a great deal to do on daily basis for the good of the island which is why we have the situation of the PM being PM AND Minister of Finance – surely a conflictof interest. We have also seen (and I cant remember 100 % here) but I’m pretty sure PM’s being PM and minister for tourism, finance and something else… I might be wrong but I’m sure you get the picture..either this govt or the last it’s neither here nor there. It didnt stop at the PM either – ‘they’ have all had a go at some time ….

      Point is our elected leaders either have too small a workload to justify their title or just about enough of a workload to get multiple titles and more fingers in conflicting pies !

    • Just The Facts says:

      There is little anyone can do until the next elections. Politicians get away with outrageous things that would put others behind bars for long periods of time. They stick together like survivors on a raft, all chained together, knowing that if they throw one of their members overboard, they’ll all be dragged down.

      Nothing changes: John Randolph 1773-1833, had a wonderful gift for describing, with exquisite aptness, the egregious failings his fellow politicians.

      For example, of Edward Livingston he said, ‘he is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.’

      Or of Richard Rush, Secretary of the Treasury he said, ‘never were abilities so much below mediocrity so well rewarded; no, not when Caligula’s horse was made consul’.

      Once he referred to, ‘that most delicious of privileges–spending other people’s money.’

      And don’t forget the genius Montaigne, who 500 years ago said, (roughly), ‘that however high a prince’s throne, yet still he sits on his own bottom.’

      Nothing changes.

       

    • Just the Facts says:

      Jonathan, whether by Freudian slip or purposeful design, your misspelling of the word,  ‘perpetraitor’ was wonderfully appropriate. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    it’s difficult to see greed being the primary motivator for politicians (both UDP, PPM as well as “independent”).

    Perhaps the UK should oversee government just like they do in T&C. Unfortunately we have a spineless Governor who is more appeasement than action.

  17. The Crown says:

    What example is Mr Bush setting in doing such faithless thing’s? A ceaseless ploy,fantasy for elitism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some comments compare the MLA benefits to civil servants’.  Some even refer to them as if they were civil servants (they are not). Try comparing the required hours of work of civil servants to MLAs. How many days per year each is required to work, Compare pay. Compare travel benefits. OH, and free meals on the job – how many of them do civil service get.  Can a civil servant retire and be rehired with salary and pension after 55? Could a MLa be elected  do nothing, not attend meetings (or if a minimum is required then just the minimum) for the four years and still get a pension? God Bless the one ‘eligible’ MLA that did the right thing and not take the pension.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Two quick points – I think CNS hurts their own credibility though the title of the article – "Mac Double Dips …" Clearly he is not the only one and CNS by singling out Mac may get readers interested in the article but certainly it is not good journalism. Secondly, given the number of young Caymanians seeking opportunities (and having the supporting education talent and education to make a positive impact) government needs to actually "retire" those civil servants already taking their pension. Step aside and let the next generation bring their ideas for the betterment of Cayman.

    CNS: The other members of the LA who are taking their pensions had already admitted it, and this was reported in a previous article. The revelation that the premier was double dipping was therefore the "news".

    • BORN FREE says:

      To me it is not surprising to hear that the premier is “double-dipping” & taking his pension payments while receiving his lucrative premier payments as well & his extravagant “perks” paid for by us (the government), I’ve come to expect that kind of thing from him. But what is surprising is to hear that Tibbetts & Eden are also “double-dipping”!
      I have reached the stage now where, until he is stopped, I do not expect the premier to quit taking advantage of us. I heard on Rooster radio that with his combined monthly salary & his pension payments the premier is receiving in excess of CI$25,000 (per month), & that is only what we know about! WOW! Nice pay for all that travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      I found out after many years that it isn’t love that makes the world go ’round…. it’s greed.  It’s just human nature to be greedy.  Politicians are human, therefore they are greedy. 

    • Justthefacts says:

      CNS: Would you care to explain why taking a pension which you are entitled to under the civl service rules while being paid a salary and NOT continuing to contribute to a pension while working beyond age 55 is "double dipping"? Have you actually thought about how this is "double dipping" or did you just pick up on what Ezzard said in the LA? I know…it definitely sounds catchy/entertaining but lets think about it before charging down the sensationalist road. Help us to better understand the issues CNS, we know you are capable of that. 

      CNS: You are arguing semantics and everyone else is discussing the issue of MLAs taking their pension while they are also collecting a salary for being a sitting MLA. The terminology is irrelevant to the issue (that means it doesn’t matter what you call it) and "double dipping" is not a precise term (that means its usage is flexible). However, I don’t think that anyone else is confused about what it is referring to here.

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        Cayman politricks changed forever with the Bush generation of politico’s. They passed legislation to give themselves large salaries and generous benefits and pensions. Being a politician was get rich first and then serve the people if there was time. It is hard to believe that anyone would argue "its the law therefore they are entitled". They created the law. Its plain old wrong whether it is a law or not. 55 is the retirement age, must be nice not to have to work to 65, 70 like the rest of you. How about the amount of time you serve and then collect your pension? Must be nice. This fodder has been going on for so long people are beginning to think it is normal or ok. At least the other two MLA’s had the coconuts to disclose they were receiving a pension BEFORE the actually retired from service. Mr. Bush’s "I will do whatever I want attitude" is once again thrown in everyones face. It is like West Bay election favors. For years many have complained about this practice. My West Bay friends used to tell me about the runners coming to their houses the night before elections and getting a $100.00 bill and told that Mr. is asking you to vote your conscience. Cayman is better than this folks. You deserve better than third world politicians getting rich off their own people.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with CNS that the distinction between mac not revealing his and the others doing so this IS newsworthy. But I think cns failed in examining whether there is anything morally wrong here or in addressing the so called accusation of double dipping. 

      CNS: The question of the morality of the issue is an opinion. This is not an opinion piece (commentary). It is an article which presents the facts of the situation.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The greatest leaders produce more leaders and become great because of their love of serving the people and the country not serving for financial gain.

  20. "Paper person" says:

    It’s ok…. the rest of us can eat cake!

  21. Fed up and broke!!!!! says:

    Why don’t they just let us all just take our pension from now and get it over with. It’s not like we are going to benefit that greatly from it later. I mean so many people have retired but yet still had to go back in the work force because they could not live off of their pension. This is so sad but yet so true. So many senior citizens are still working and working hard jobs all because they still have mortgages and other bills to pay. So why not just take advantage of it from now. After all this is Cayman right and anything goes here.

  22. JTB says:

    Politicians often seem to struggle with the distinctions between right and wrong, and legal and illegal. They are not the same thing. Something can be both entirely legal and completely wrong, as many UK members of Parliament discovered to their cost over the last couple of years in the expenses scandal.

    Those who make the law cannot hide behind legality as justification for their actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Civil Servant who has always played by the book and never taken advantage of the system, I can now say that I am in total discuss about this!!! I must take a paycut, continue to give 110%, get blamed for the Governement being broke (as if it was me up in the LA voting of pet projects and monuments to myself). While Mac Attack fly firs class on these world jaunts. Got my support, NOT.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Clearly this is a christian country.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The remark was meant as serious.

      It disgusts me to see these churchgoers take whatever they can get their hands on.

      It disgusts me even more to see the church going voters being so naif.

  24. Roadblogger says:

    According to the Shaw-Miller Report into government finances there is a strong indication the CIG will not be able to meet it’s future commitment for civil servant pensions and benefits. The Premier and others, including Kurt Tibbets, knowing this for quite some time have decided the most appropriate move would be to collect their pension now. The rules the higher ups in government have created allow them to do this for themselves. Others are left to hope and pray when the time comes for their retirement there will be sufficient funds. According to the numbers, this may very well be impossible. It doesn’t look good for them.

    Tell me again who these people work for. And what their motivation is to alter a rule and collect pension while still on salary. Make hay while the sun shines.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can a CivilServant in Cayman aged 55 also stay employed and receive their pension?

      Can someone in the private sector aged 55 or older gain employment as well as receive a pension from some previous or current employer?

      Isn’t it like having an investment that pays you dividends while you are still employed/working for a living.

      I really don’t see anything wrong with it – IF GOVT COULD AFFORD IT. The Govt obviously has plenty money and is not broke as some have suggested. It is only the subjective prioritisation of which bills get paid that is the PROBLEM.

  25. Lorrie Furniss says:

    I vote that the law governing the MLA’s pension be suspended, or given a “pension holiday”. And also pensions paid to MLA’s who are still in office be suspended as well until we see a better economic future in Cayman. If our unemployed Caymanians can not take their pension, then the MLAs should not draw a pension and a salary too. The Government and economic circumstances that we are now faced with in the Cayman Islands, certainly does not justify what the MLA’s are putting in their pockets frim my point of view.

  26. Justthefacts says:

    There is nothing “amoral” about this. About 60 civil servants also do this as well and the rules state that you cannot continue to contribute to the pension after making this decision.

    So what they are doing is taking the pension thatthey have already earned plus their current salary for current work (which is not pensionable). The term double dipping is wrong and misleading because there is NO overlap of anything. The previously accrued pension is being taken and the current work is being compensated by a salary. If someone were to continue to EARN a pension while drawing their pension then THAT would be considered some form of “double dipping” but that is not what is happening here.

    The only possible argument here is maybe someone should NOT be allowed to continue to have a job after age 55 or if they take a pension as they are not “retired”. But that is debateable as well. And if we want to fix that last issue we should change the retirement age as that would help somewhat.

    This may be politically entertaining in the blogasphere but if we consider the facts (and drop the red vs green nonsense), there is nothing wrong here (legally, technically or morally).

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry – MLAs voting to allow themselves to collect pensions for past terms while they are still employed as MLAs is very very wrong. The fact that 60 civil servants are allowed to do the same thing merely provides evidence of the extent of what is wrong with our government.

      The fact that MLAs can pass laws to rip off thepublic purse does not make it moral for them to do so.

    • huh! says:

      They have not earned a penny as they have not paid a penny of their own money in.  There is no deduction taken from civil service paychecks to go into pension.  They do not pay into the pension at all.  It is simply an added benefit that an already bloated government provides to the civil service.  Govt has to fund their pension obligation from the general funds as it does not come from salary holdbacks. These guys are double dipping plain and simple.

      The pension fund is underfunded so they want as much money in their pockets as they can get before it goes bust.

      • Justthefacts says:

        You are right that they have really "earned" it because it all basically contributed from public funds. But that is besides the point. That IS the way the entire civil service pension contribution system works. It is not unique to politicians.  That really should change (seriously civil servants and politicians should be contributing just like in the private sector) but I doubt we will have see that.

      • Justthefacts says:

        I meant they have NOT really earned it etc… 

      • Anonymous says:

        “They have not earned a penny as they have not paid a penny of their own money in”.

        This level of comment is lamentably neanderthal like so much else on this subject which just gets the bozo thumbs going down though they have no idea of the various pensions laws. It’s a non contributory pension scheme. You may not like it but that is what it is. They DID earn their entitlement to a pension, Dufus,; it has nothing to do with who pays for the contributions to the pension scheme.They earned the entitlement. Any other language you would like me to say it in? BTW, it doesn’t mean I agree with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re forgetting one very important thing – each of these MLAs and civil servant pensioners began serving when pensions were “defined benefit” rather than “defined contribution” so what they receive has absolutely no correlation to what they have given.

      Yes, the 12% of salary is paid into the pension fund each month and has been since they began working, but the pensions they receive are not based on what they have “given” but rather what they are “due”.

      MLAs specifically are now entitled draw down between 2/15 (one fifth of two thirds) and 2/3 (two thirds) of their monthly salary at the time of “retirement”, depending on the number of four-year terms they have served in the LA. If they have contributed less over the previous years than they are entitled to receive, they still receive the entitlement. Essentially, with very rough numbers and ignoring many intricacies of the system it only takes 3.6 years for the MLA to “receive” more than he has “given”.

      If an MLA serves only one term before age 55 and is paid $8,808 per month the whole time (the minimum any MLA makes)…
      1. They have paid $50,734.08 into the pension fund
      2. They are entitled to draw down $1,174.40 per month indefinitely
      3. If pension is drawn from age 55, in 3.6 years the MLA will have received more than he has paid in.

      If an MLA serves five terms before age 55 and is paid $8,808 per month the whole time…
      1. They have paid $253,670.40 into the pension fund
      2. They are entitled to draw down $5,872.00 per month indefinitely
      3. If pension is drawn from age 55, in the same 3.6 years the MLA will have received more than he has paid in.

      These two scenarios of course do not account for gains and losses of the vehicles in which the pension funds are invested or the administrative costs. Money in does not just sit thereand wait to be paid out. If the investments are very successful the money that has been paid in can increase substantially (the hope of every pension fund). On the other hand, when the markets are in the crapper (as they have been for a few years now) and administrative costs are high, what has been “given” will be lost over the years not to pension payouts, but to the market and administrative costs.

      The world over has realised that defined benefit pension schemes are completely unsustainable, but the reality is there are many, many people who joined the civil service and who were elected to the LA under when this was the status quo. The unfunded liability for the public pensions is STAGGERING, and the fact that we have not even tried to assess it recently is very telling. It’s probably scares the pants off of many people in Government.

      If we consider the facts, there is something very wrong here.

      • Frequent Flyer says:

        You think because it is ‘law’ that it is morally correct??!! THEY passed the law!! It’s like playing a game and making the rules as you go along to fit your game plan.

        Ezzard; ” new section of the law allows them to receive the pension without retiring- certainly not in keeping with the normal moral and ethical intentions of pensions, which would normally require one to retire before receiving a pension”

        Submitted by Lachlan MacTavish (not verified) on Sat, 04/02/2011 – 11:35.
        .. They passed legislation to give themselves large salaries and generous benefits and pensions. Being a politician was get rich first and then serve the people if there was time. It is hard to believe that anyone would argue “its the law therefore they are entitled”. They created the law. Its plain old wrong whether it is a law or not. .. This fodder has been going on for so long people are beginning to think it is normal or ok. At least the other two MLA’s had the coconuts to disclose they were receiving a pension BEFORE the actually retired from service. Mr. Bush’s “I will do whatever I want attitude” is once again thrown in everyones face. It is like West Bay election favors. For years many have complained about this practice. My West Bay friends used to tell me about the runners coming to their houses the night before elections and getting a $100.00 bill and told that Mr. is asking you to vote your conscience. Cayman is better than this folks. You deserve better than third world politicians getting rich off their own people.’

    • JC says:

      @ Justthefacts;
      Submitted by Lachlan MacTavish (not verified) on Sat, 04/02/2011 – 11:35.
      Cayman politricks changed forever with the Bush generation of politico’s. They passed legislation to give themselves large salaries and generous benefits and pensions. They created the law. Its plain old wrong whether it is a law or not. You deserve better than third world politicians getting rich off their own people.///

      (Thisis perfectly put so I have cut and paste the my points)
      ” They passed legislation to give themselves large salaries and generous benefits and pensions…”
      This alone is ‘AMORAL’ (no matter how it is spelled, we all know what it means)
      This should be so obvious and a perfect reason to vote no confidence back when this was done!!
      Greedy self-serving christians? It’s called gittin it while the gittin is good!! Hurry before it’s all gone.
      You got yours?

  27. Anonymous says:

    That’s why at election time they can handout a $25 here and there, fridges, stoves, turkeys etc. God help us!!

  28. Ezzard Miller says:

    The problem with the parliamentary pension law as passed on 23rd, August 2004 (Mr Bush was LOGB at the time) is section 26 (1) which reads ;
    “Upon the attainment of normal retirement age an active, deferred, vested or retired participant shall be entitled to receive immediately a pension determined on the date he attains normal retirement age, subject to the limitations set out in section 32 with resoect to maximum pensions.”
    The operative word beingRECEIVE rather than RETIRE because this new section of the law allows them to receive the pension without retiring- certainly not in keeping with the normal moral and ethical intentions of pensions, which would normally require one to retire before receiving a pension. My Merriam-Webster dictionary define Retire as – ” to withdraw from one’s occupation or position : conclude one’s career”. I know of no other pension plan in the Cayman Islands that allows a member of the plan to receive their pension without retiring.
    This is what I intend to try and change through private members motion if I can get the support.
    With reguards to the formula for payment of benifits under the plan the regulations in section 15 (3) allows the person to take 25% of their benifits as calculated under the law in cash paid at the time of retirement. In the case of the premier his cash payment formula would be 25% of 2/3 of his salary at the time of retirement times the acturial predicted life expectancy, using the salary in the article;
    25% of 2/3 salary ($14,800 x 2/3 = S9,768.00) = $2442.00
    $2442.00 X life expectancy of 80 years (80 – 55 = 25) is $732,600.
    $2442.00 X life expectancy of 75 years (75 – 55 = 20) is $586,080.
    This would still allow a monthly pension for the rest of his life of $7,326.00 to age 80 is $2,197,800.00 or to age 75 is $1,758,240.00.
    The pension plan for civil servants require them to retire and if they wish to continue employment they have to re-apply for a job in Government or the private sector.
    All pension laws need to specify that if you are re-employed by the same company from which you are retired your pensions payments shall be suspended for such period of employment.
    Ezzard Miller

    • Anonymous says:

      “All pension laws need to specify that if you are re-employed by the same company from which you are retired your pensions payments shall be suspended for such period of employment.” (Ezzard Miller).

      Why, Mr Miller? On what grounds do you base this assertion that someone should have their legitimately earned entitlement “suspended” just because their employer has seen fit to rehire them and remunerate them again for their services?

      • Anonymous says:

        Its interesting that whenever someone like 10:41 above, tries to actually raise the level of debate by making an ok point/question (rather than mess around with the political fun) they get a bunch of childish ‘multiple’ thumbs down. This country is in serious trouble if that is the extent of public engagement that we are going to encourage/see going forward.  

      • Anonymous says:

        I note from all the thumbs down that people agree with Mr Miller but all these CNS blogger pensions/HR experts can’t actually come up with an answer to my simple question at Friday 10:41. Still waiting.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sunday 10.28 already answered as follows,

          "A pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment."

      • Anonymous says:

        Oooooh Mr. UDP responds……….

         
      • Will says:

        A pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment.

        • Anonymous says:

          …..”an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment”

          Will, could you provide the reference in any of our pension laws that supports this (possibly dictionary) definition? Thanks.

          • MER says:

            Well I would like to stress again to any MLA’s who may be reviewing this article, my mother is 66 years old and NO LONGER RECEIVING A SALARY!!!!!!!!! Please explain to me, as a retired civil servant, why she is not receiving monthly pensions payments again?!?!?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Mr. Miller for providing this information so clearly and for having the courage to point out the morality of double-dipping.

    • thank you says:

      Thank you for attempting to correct this flaw Mr Miller. I am glad to see that at least 1 of our representatives is taking an honest approach. I hope you are planning to give this country a 3rd option next election

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the vote in LA and c how everyone voted

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Thank-you Ezzard.

      Mr. Bush it is just plain wrong. Why not stand up for the people of the Cayman Islands and rescind your decision to use the system to take pension before retirement.  

  29. Anonymous says:

    I heard, from someone well placed to know, that Mac took the maximum lump sum allowed under the pension rules as soon as he was eligible. That tells me that he sees a greater risk in waiting to take it in monthly sums over a period of years. I also believe that he is a big part of that risk.

  30. Anonymous says:

    My suggestion would be for all the civil servants who received a pay cut (and anyone else who wants to join in) to get together and put down work for a day or two and demand that certain people are stripped of their position. Otherwise nothing will change……..

    But until this will happen, I expect things will have to get a whole lot worse……..

  31. Anonymous says:

    Politicians pass a law that says they are allowed to take as much of the public’s money as they want whenever they want it – that is evil

    The only difference between what the politicians do and what the others who take the people’s money do is that politicians generally don’t feel the need to get themselves armed and double dip at banks. Maybe that will be next.

  32. Tara says:

    Here’s a thought – perhaps our good leader would consider “donating” his pension to all those whose money he lost through his negligence during his tenure at First Cayman Bank – there are still those who lost everything and have never quite recovered whereas he seems to have recovered from any losses just fine.

    We have too short a memory people – I wonder how much pension he’s already received and what percentage it represents of the money that “disappeared” when the bank folded – his first experience of being at the helm of a sinking ship – seems he didn’t learn from it them or perhaps he just simply didn’t care.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Shameful and disgusting.

    This loophole in the log must be plugged.

  34. Michel Lemay says:

    Shameful is the correct work. While so many of us are struggling especially the elderly, the unemployed, children not getting breakfast before school and I could go on and on.At approximatly $25,000 per month and expenses paid his actions reflect someone who is taking all he can in case the money runs out. His actions send a terrible message to the people that he represents has our Leader. How can you find in your heart to have respect for such a person driven by greed. He does not deserve to complete his term and I am very worried about our Premier state of mind because his actions speak much louder then words could explain. As most the world is in total chaos, not only do many have to cope with daily stresses but to watch what is happening in our own backyard is depressing. Only our Mighty God can help this confused man that seems out of touch with reality not to mention our little nation. I honestly tried my best to find anything positive in your actions but simply cannot ! Yes we felt your pain during your families and your own difficult period and I must admit that I feel sorry for you and specially your family and those who have to work and support you. I will continue praying for you so that you come out of the darkness you are in so that those close to you may see the light,

    • Anonymous says:

      This just means that a certain percentage of the ignorant population will receive a new wash machine or fridge again, maybe even get their drive way paved before the next election. That’s what the money will be used for.

  35. Right ya so says:

    I don’t know why this is even headline news – don’t you know by now that he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, how ever he wants and we Caymanians, as usual, complain but do absolutely NOTHING!!

  36. Trivial Matter says:

    Mac “double-dips” in pension? That’s his business – not ours! He is entitle like anybody else who is a civil servant. If you don’t like it, then change the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a bizarre, or is it amoral, sense of what the word entitled means.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Old news.

  38. Anonymous says:

    There is no law here that prevents double-dipping so no one is doing anything wrong. They are collecting an earned entitlement (pension) and also a salary for their current jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is, of course, a difference between “entitled” and “obliged”. You would think that a seasoned politician, guiding the Islands through a time of austerity, with layoffs and duty increases abounding, might think that claiming an extra $10,000 per month is not the wisest course of action.

      It shows an astonishing lack of judgement. Surely the leader of the government should be showing some leadership?

    • Anonymous says:

      So if the same politicians passed a law that said that it was OK for them to rape any member of your family any time they liked there would be nothing wrong with them doing so. The point here is that the politicians have once again abused the trust we placed in them to give themselves permission to take what they want with impugnity. It is morally wrong in the extreme. The law needs to be changed and the people who passed this law need to be kicked out of the LA.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a stupid analogy! Try to argue your case without resorting to unfounded melodrama.What is your view on civil servants “double dipping”? Is it just the fact that it is politicians who are doing it? Or is it the “double dipping” principle you object to?

        • Anonymous says:

          Goodness, what an angry response.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes, to a very stupid post. I too hate the fact that civil servants and politicians are getting all this so called double dipping money from salaries and pension schemes etc but like it or not they are not doing it illegally and all the thumbs down simply make it clear that most of the posters on CNS are either just anti Mac/ UDP people (fair enough) or ignoramuses who don’t read the reflective posts or can’t understand legal entitlements and just have knee jerk reactions to benefits other people are getting that they themselves are not getting. The lack of logical discussion about this issue of people receiving entirely legal earned entitlement benefits (it doesn’t bloody matter who pays for the entitlement dufuses!) is utterly appalling and speaks volumes about the intellectual paucity of many, NOT ALL, commentators to CNS

            • Anonymous says:

              You are clearly as confident in your own myopic views as you are ignorant of any non-superficial argument relating to the concept of legal entitlement. Go away and read Rawls or Nozick or Hart or any of the dozens of literates who have written about this subject and only if you then comprehend return and post something sensible.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ladies and Gentlemen – I am pleased to see that CNS does not prohibit posts from pompous ill-informed gits

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why are we letting Kurt and Anthony off scotch free? I know McKeeva is the hot target but what about these two?.

    Out of site and out of mind,,,no wonder they both are staying out of the limelight..

    PPM 2
    UDP 1

    In my mind, no difference…same problem

    • Anonymous says:

      and the PPM changed the law so that MLA’s are entitled to a pension after one term in the LA.

      check out which former minister will be getting THREE pensions!!!!! they were also receiving govt pension and salary in the past as well.

    • noname says:

      04/01/2011-03.48 Scotch free (tee hee)

    • Anonymous says:

      I could be wrong, but most of the folks who post on CNS seem to be very much anti UDP and pro PPM, so maybe this has got something to do with it.

      Just a suggestion, so please don’t bite my head off.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t it "scot free"?

  40. Shock and Awe says:

    Quote from a famous politician:  "Get the money and get elected."

    Add to that

    Then when you’re elected – Get more money!!

    That’s what it’s all about folks.  But all in all I think it would be best for us to stop believing he actually cares what we think. If you were pulling down over $25,000 CI a month, had all your bills paid, and – could travel wherever and whenever. Acting as Premier for a place where many people are having a hard time maybe you or I wouldn’t do such a thing, but that’s beside the point. Many Caymanians I’m sure at this point are feeling hussled. Unfortunately, that’s also the problem with career politicians such as McKeeva. They’ve been around too long. They have had all the time in the world to work every angle. Perks, pensions, etc. The list goes on because it’s a matter of whatever you can get or get away with.

    Running for office is just the beginning of the hustle for some and Bush appears to be one of those. I don’t care about all his preaching the proof is how you handle yourself and how much compassion you have.  I see no indication he has any empathy for any Caymanians at this time. Least among those in his own constituency.

    There are some good politicians but many are also too weak willed, prone to excess and see it as a career move, or worse, a means of financial enrichment with very little work involved.

    Be as outraged as you want if it feels better but you don’t have the money and you can’t get elected. Thanks for those words of wisdom Premier.

    When he decides it’s time to retire from a life of "public service" – as you are witnessing this is one man who always served himself first.

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      It certainly does seem that McKeeva Bush’s interpretation of "public service" is all about how many ways the public can serve him.

       

  41. Anonymous says:

    The fix to this rip-off of the public purse is to amend the Constitution so that MLA’s do not get benefits of any type other than as approved by the majority of the people in a referendum.

  42. Lorrie Furniss says:

    Would somebody, or CNS, explain clearly the pension entitlement and how the Premier is double dipping?  The article needs to define all sides of the equation for the average public to understand exactly how the Premier and current politicians are double dipping.  The people who pay pension should be educated by the press. The Pensions Office is variable. To my knowledge the average employee can not draw a salary and  pension simultaneously. An obvious point to me would sbe that it is unethical, but then again we are in the Cayman Islands.. And if a politician is allowed this concession, please explain why I am not allowed the same concession.   Please calrify the law. I really would like to know the mechanics of the law so that I can apply it and correctly relay the informationto our company’s employees.  Some of our employees really need their pension during these difficult times.

    My maximum contribution to my account by my employer every month is CI$250. I work a full time job, pay my own mortgage, pay for my own travel, my own fences around my yard, my own car and I drive myself. I’m a single mother and have never received child support.  How can these politicians justify taking pension and salary when an ear of corn is advertised at Kirk Supermarket to cost 3.99 ea!  How in the heck am I going to feed my darn chickens, let alone my child and my blind father????  Thank goodness I never voted UDP! It could have been worse….

    Also please keep in mind, if we are not employing Caymanians, they are not earnig a pension.  If we don’t pay pension now, guaranteed we will be paying multiples later, for those Caymanians chosing to stay in Cayman.  The choice is yours. Better to be current than ignorant.

    CNS: The law governing MLAs’ pensions, which was passed by the MLAs, is different from the wider civil service or any other pension law. They can, as it states in the article, claim their pension when they reach 55, whether or not they are still serving, as there is no official retirement age for politicians. You can run for office until you die (in some cases it maybe after, we can’t tell). The pension paid out is based on the salary the individual member was earning when he began drawing his pension. The maximum a member can take is 2/3 of that salary if they have served five or more terms and have a fully vested pension.  A member who has not served five terms when they reach 55 may still claim a pension but they will get less money.

  43. Rob says:

    CNS just keeps getting better and better.

     

  44. Anonymous says:

    Guess they want to get their money NOW before the pension ship sinks! Think that through…..

    • Anonymous says:

      The good ship Cayman has a lot in common with the Titanic……..the life boats are in first class only.

  45. Anonymous says:

    another reason to MEET EM AT THE AIRPORT

  46. Anonymous says:

    somebody give me a hug. High five.

  47. Yo Mama says:

    Good Lord! I’m shocked! You mean to tell me a career politician is greedy and cares more about his own wallet than his country’s well being? Wow, never saw that one coming.

  48. Anonymous says:

    who cares????….caymanians are not prepared to do anything about him…not matter what he does….zzzzzz

  49. Bigmac says:

    What madness is this…here I am stuggling after getting a 3.2% cut in my salary and my leader making almost double his salary…please Cayman wake up!!!

  50. Anonymous says:

    What a complete lack of class.  How greedy is he?

    Let us see him offer to donate his already claimed pension funds to charity.  That would be "right honourable" thing to do.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Off with their heads!

  52. MER says:

    WOW!!! It keeps getting better and better! No wonder they couldn’t pay my 65 year old civil servant mother her pensions after slaving for our worthless Government for over 15 years!!!

    What an absolute disgrace!!! Here my now 66 year old mom is not receiving a red cent monthly for her years with Gov and the pensions board coming up with every worthless no good excuse in the book not to pay anything!!!! Where will the next earthquake hit?!?!

    • Anonymous says:

      To 20:27
      My sympaty and heart goes out for your mother.
      Caymanians should realise by now that the Private Pension scheem is a ponzi scheem, planned and introduced by the 6 money managers (rip-offs) Our Government back then, made the law for them to rip out of our pockets 10% of one’s wages, 10% of the income generated and paid between the employer and emplyee…by any means and ways we are paying an income income TAX of 10%
      This is the lunacy of this scheem, the Government was brainwashed by the cash 6.They told the Caymanian people we had to pay this mandetory 10%…for Caymanians, which would come in for our retirement.
      We have up to 25,000 expatraits paying into this scheem, and whenever their 7 year roll over comes around they withdraw their 5% contrbution,plus the 5% of the emplyers contribution and take it out of the country.This now becomes a saving not a pension.
      This is where the scheem comes in, after the cash 6 takes their cream off the top, they invest the rest of the funds, in some overseas investment, most of the time they lose your money on these investments. Our Pension money is used to fund different types of businesses overseas, The cash 6 are the only ones making tons of money,
      On the public pension, we the tax payers are paying for their pension, 12% of their salary, it’s no wonder they wont scrap it.
      There are670 private businesses that can’t comply with this burdon that our Government has inflicted on the Caymanian people.

      • huh! says:

        Private scheme is very different from the public scheme.
        In the private scheme you pay in money and it earns interest and capital gains and when you get to retirement age you get it back in a controlled manner. You get what you put in. These funds are audited and you can be sure your money is there.

        The Government pension is different. they dont pay in. The cayman people fund it from tax revenue and they just take out of it based on years of service and salary earned. This fund has less funds in it than it need to pay out so we the people will have to make up the difference.

        As to expats taking their funds out after they leave. Why not its their money. They wont be a drag on cayman society if they retire with nothing because they wont be here.

  53. IRON CLAD` says:

    Pure ANGUISH!!!

    I just want to…..

    Well I guess you can imagine.

    IRON CLAD and needing the freedom to release.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhhh! It’s good to be the king.

    — Mel Brooks

  55. Snout in the Trough says:

    Could we now see what Kearney Gomez gets from his double dipping, which will include a ludicrously generous amount for his pensionable allowance for being Elections Supervisor while still drawing his pensionable salary as Chief Officer. People just don’t know what goes on.

    • ANONYMOUS says:

      This is a gentleman who knows the art of survival.

      Is he not one in entourage party accompanying the Deputy. Premier who visited Spain shamelessly at the tax payers expense.?

  56. The Beaver says:

    oink! oink! oink!  The Beaver

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is not actually stealing, but……………………….!
    What’s new?

  58. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Mr Bush, a true leader, who made his own personal fortune from being a politician always puts the voters and the people of Cayman, who are struggling under the present economy, first. It is so nice to see that he would not even consider to double dip on the pension loop hold. Caymanians, voters , we need to get behind this man as a true leader next election.

    • Anonymous says:

      before he gets behind you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets stop the personal attacks and focus on the real problem, scrap the pension or do a reformation.
      It is not working as it is. it is ripping off the small businesses, give them options and concession.
      Keep these bulll dogs off the backs of the small businesses.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting.

    Our MLAs should be entitled to a decent wage for what they do – no more than twice what the average Caymanian makes and that should apply to the Premier as well.

    MLAs should also be entitled to a pension based on the same percentage contribution schemes that appy to the private sector for each year that they are an MLA. MLA pensions should only be collected once they reach the age of 65.

    Only when the wages and pensions of our MLAs are tied to what the average person makes will we see our MLAs working to improve the lot of the average person.

    At the moment many of them are only in politics to make themselves rich.

     

  60. Anonymous says:

    The Triple-Dipping Club members will be announced in upcoming editions. Meanwhile, who said you cannot amass a decent pension plan by serving the public as one of the elected officials who created this fiasco in the first place?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually triple, quadruple and quintuple dipping are here already:

      Dip one – huge salary

      Dip two – huge pension

      Dip three – having your household expenses paid for by the poor people of this country

      Dip four – the occasional extremely lucrative exclusive contract plus/minus the odd condo or two

      Dip five – all the first class travel you can dream up

  61. Anonymous says:

    WHAT?!?!

  62. Reality 101 says:

    This goes to show that all of these so called repersentitives of sort is only there for themselves, they realy dont care about the poor people . I say cut all theire darn salaries to CI$5,000 per month or less and we will see how eager they are to run for office again……. its a shame