Archive for December 23rd, 2011

Missing child found safe and well

| 23/12/2011 | 0 Comments

RichardPowell.jpg(CNS): A 12-year-old boy who was reported missing has been  traced safe and well in West Bay, police have said. Earlier today the RCIPS appealed for information about Richard Powell, who had been been missing since yesterday (Thursday 21 December). The boy (left) was last seen by his mother at their home in Hettie’s Lane, West Bay, when she left him, and his 7-year-old sister, to go to work at 7.45am. When she returned from work yesterday evening at around 6.30pm, her daughterwas home but Richard was missing, police said. The child’s mother contacted family and friends but when she was unable to trace her him she contacted the police. (The photo supplied was taken four years ago)

Anyone with information about this incident should to contact West Bay police station on 949-3999.

 

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CS pensioners get increase on ex-gratia payments

| 23/12/2011 | 16 Comments

Retirement3.jpg(CNS): Government has approved changes to the regulations regarding ex-gratia pensions for some retired Caymanian public sector workers who will see their payments increased by $100 or $150 per month depending on their length of service. Anomalies in the law regarding people who were not Caymanian when they first joined government and who missed out on benefits for some of their years of service have been addressed by Cabinet in the regulations, the deputy governor revealed, Thursday a move set to cost government around $350,000 per annum.

Extending these benefits will result in an increase in the annual costs of the ex-gratia pensions from just over $400Kpa to just under $750Kp.a but Donovan Ebanks said was the right decision “The status quo simply wasn’t any longer justifiable,” he said.
“No Caymanian is going to be able to provide for themselves in retirement based on $200p.m. or $300p.m. The good news is that we were able to completely put an end to earning qualifying service to this ex-gratia benefit 12 years ago.

“Everyone who has been employed by the Cayman Islands government since the dawn of this new century accrues a pension entitlement and thus cannot accrue an ex-gratia pension entitlement too. But we have to do what is right by those Caymanians who toiled before we had that universal pension benefit,” Ebanks added.

Under the new amending regulations, a Caymanian already in receipt of an ex-gratia pension will be eligible to have that revised either from $200 each month to $300 if they served four or more years but less than ten years and from $300 to the minimum of $450p.m if they served ten or more years.

Some of the Caymanians who will benefit from the increase worked for over 15, 20 or even 25 years without any entitlement. The changes relate to the Public Service Pensions Law and the Public Service Pensions (Ex-Gratia Pensions)(Amendment) Regulations, 2011 which were issued by extraordinary gazette on 15 December. (See document here)

The story behind the change started with the enactment of the Public Service Pensions Law in 1999 which brought with it the universal provision of pension benefits to all public servants and an investigation by the former Complaints Commissioner John Epp who uncovered the fact that some Caymanians had received no pension benefits at all because they were not Caymanian when they joined government.

By 2001, all serving publicservants were enrolled in either the ‘defined benefits plan’ or the ‘defined contribution plan’. But before then pension benefits had been limited to Caymanians. As a result of the various criteria that existed, such as a minimum ten years of service and the different ‘terms of service’ for different categories of employees, not all Caymanians got pension entitlements for all of the years that they had served.

The Public Service Pensions Law recognised the problem and introduce the award of an ‘ex-gratia pension’ – a benefit that is payable to a Caymanian for government workers who did not earn either eligibility for a pension or any other equivalent allowance because they 

In late-2006 an Own Motion Investigation by the Office of the Complaints Commissioner found that civil servants who were not Caymanians when they were serving still missed out on at the ex-gratia pension payments.  In May 2009, Cabinet approved amending Public Service Pensions (Ex-Gratia Pensions) Regulations, 2004 to address those Caymanians who have served as public servants for considerable periods but which they neither received, nor were eligible to receive, any pension or other benefit.

When that amendment was passed it failed to cater to those pensioners who were already in receipt of an ex-gratia pension. Only new applicants after May 2009 who were successful received the new dispensations.

“This was extremely disappointing to those persons who had served well over ten years and who were keenly looking forward to being able to receive something more to allow them to better look after themselves now that  they have retired”, said Ebanks. “I’m extremely pleased that Cabinet recently approved the Public Service Pensions (Ex-Gratia Pensions) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011 and that these issues have now been addressed and sorted out.”

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Extreme race registration open till NYE

| 23/12/2011 | 0 Comments

1-male-beach-runner-brandon-tabiolo.jpg(CNS):  Organisers of the Off The Beaten Track ultra-marathon said Thursday that they were still accepting early bird registrations with a discounted entry fee until 31 December 31 for the 3rd annual race which is set for 26 February. The extreme race covers 50Ks across what organizers said were the ‘unfamiliar’ paths of Grand Cayman. The race presents a challenge for individual runners and relay teams. Ken Krys, who has participated in several ‘ultra races’, including the Marathon des Sables in Morocco and the Amazon Jungle Run said Off The Beaten Track is Cayman’s own version of these, making it the ultimate test.

“There are a great many runners here in Cayman, and I urge all of them to come out and support this unique event.  The team aspect allows runners of all levels to participate, while experienced marathoners can choose to run the event individually,” Krys said.

This one of a kind race will be donating 50% of proceeds to Facing Africa with the remaining proceeds going to the very deserving local charities Cayman's ARK and the School of Fitness.

To take advantage of the early bird discount pricing, register online at www.caymanactive.com by 31 December.  Sponsorship for the race is still available. For further information visit the website www.offthebeatentrack.ky or contact Lori at 345-815-8410.

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Man killed in car smash

| 23/12/2011 | 29 Comments

accident_0.JPG(CNS):  A 39-year-old man was killed in the early hours of Friday morning after the car he was driving smashed into a tree. Police confirmed this morning (23 December) that at about 1:52am Richard Alutaya Rivera of East End, who was driving a Honda Civic on Shamrock Road in the direction of his home, appeared to lose control of his vehicle, which skidded off the road and collided with a tree. Emergency services attended the scene, including the Fire Department, medics and police, as the man was trapped in the car. Once freed, the man was taken to George Town hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 3:10am.

The RCIPS Traffic Management issued an advisory that commuters may be delayed until around 7:30am as the police continue investigations into the cause of the fatal crash.

The man is the seventh person to die on the roads in Cayman this year and comes just three weeks after a fatal crashon Esterley Tibbets Highway.

Anyone with information in relation to the accident may contact the Traffic Management at 946-6254.

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