Double dipping to be banned in TCI civil service

| 09/02/2012

piggy-bank-on-money-md1_0.jpg(CNS): While numerous civil servants in Cayman, as well as politicians continue to draw their pensions while still working for government and getting a salary from the public purse as well, the practice is about to be banned in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  It is still legal in Cayman for civil servants to ‘double dip’ as it has been termed which means they can retire from the service and take their pension but at the same time be rehired by government under contract. According to the TCI governor’s office the interim government of that UK territory intends to end the practice which it said will save government much needed revenue.

Following a pension review last year which identified the issue of civil servants who had been re-employed by the TCI government  after they had retired aged 55 and who were still collecting a pension the Advisory Council  announced on Wednesday that retirees who go back to work can no longer draw a pension as well as a salary.

“The payment of their TCIG pension while they continue to be employed effectively doubles their income at a cost to the TCI taxpayer, the governor’s office said in a statement outlining a number of planned changes that will affect the TCI civil service pensions.

Here in Cayman despite some enforced retirements recently there are still more than 50 civil servants believed to be employed in government who have retired and who are drawing on their pension entitlement but who have either re-taken up their post on a new contract or are working for the public sector in another capacity leading to the so called ‘double dip’ into the public purse.

Three members of the Legislative Assembly, including the premier are also drawing both a salary and a pension as was revealed following a long FOI wrangle with the PSPB after it denied a CNS request to reveal which MLAs had taken up their entitlement.

The practice was berated by Ezzard Miller the independent member for North Side who although entitled to take his pension had not done so. He said that the practice may not be illegal but it was most certainly “immoral and unethical” as retirement meant you stop working and not an excuse to get two cheques from government.

The premier defended the rights of Civil Servants as well as MLAs to take their pension and carry on working. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last April he said the public needed to understand that there was nothing wrong with what he and the other members were doing.

He said he had been the one scapegoated for 'double dipping but asking what was he supposed to do about his own earned benefits he said should he “wait until he was dead” He pointed out that if that were the case, his wife would receive only half of the benefit that he had worked for and earned. Bush said that although some believed it was not right to take a pension while still working for the same employer, he did not agree.

“There is nothing wrong with that,' he added. “These days when life is so uncertain, when a person comes to that point in their lives when they can get paid back what they paid, why shouldn't they be able to get their pension?”

He suggested the public criticisms about it were based on jealousy but that no one was doing anything wrong or immoral.

 

Category: World News

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness no one currently in the opposition engages in such dastardely behaviour. A small comfort, I know, but nevertheless, something I hold personally hold close to my heart by way of a light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the next general election.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great men of patronage, of double dipping, double standards.

  3. Angel of truth says:

    Developers caused this greed, it goes both ways  it just got out of hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is always choice.  People can do the right thing, or do the wrong thing.  With only one exception, our MLAs have opted to disregard the national interest (and their oath of office) and pay themselves twice.  It's that simple.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    Those double dipping here should be made to repay the Country.

    There is no good reason to justify such GREED.

  5. A Pastafarian says:

    An elected official accepting a salary AND retirement pay while still in office is no better than a thief.  It should be made illegal for any government position, including civil service.

  6. Really Anonymous says:

    What is the Caymanian interpretation of doing something wrong or immoral?  They must start to teach morality in the 6th grade.  Explains everything.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier does it it is not illegal.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How about 'single dipping'  ……… whereby some civil servants get paid to stay at home? Example …… Astley McLaughlin (and others) …… continues (after many years) to receive a salary nearing $6,000 per month and Govt still haven't found a place for him. Sure enough these folks will retire and then collect pensions!

  9. Anonymouse says:

    So would it be OK for Government to hire someone who used to work for the private sector and is now getting their private pension? What if the government retiree goes to work for a private firm? Or you retire from company A and then work for company B? Unless you can craft one rule for everyone … one class of people should not be subject to unequal treatment under the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can explain it however you like to try to justify it.

      It is STILL WRONG

    • A Pastafarian says:

      It ain't the same thing, Anonymouse!  I see nothing wrong if someone hires on with another company while getting some form of compensation from another.  If a company wants to do that, it's o.k. with me.  I just don't think it's ethical to retire someone and rehire them, then pay them double pay…. if it's a GOVERNMENT JOB being paid for by the PEOPLE'S MONEY.   I stand by my prior statement,  As mentioned in CNS, some government officials are deferring their retirement pay until they actually retire.  That's why it's called "retirement" pay.  Did you notice that I seem to have a lot of folks in agreement with  me, judging from the "thumbs up" checks on the comment?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hallelujah!!  I'm glad to see someone recognises double dipping as unethical and very expensive.  It will be interesting to see how much this practise has been costing Cayman taxpayers per year and for how long. CNS – is that another FOI query?

  11. Anonymous says:

    One recently retired chief officer was triple dipping. Salary, pension plus allowance for certain duties I won't name. All perfectly legal, he was doing nothing "wrong".

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    Well I am sure our Minister of Finance will follow their lead and ban double dipping here too!

  13. nauticalone says:

    This ruling by the UK about "Double-Dipping" in TCI is right!

    And as Ezzard has said in Cayman is completely "Immoral and Unthical"!

    The Premier's defense (and some others) of this practice can only be seen to be based on Greed…especially during these difficult economic times.

  14. Anonymous says:

    These double dippers should make room for other Caymanians who could do the job!

  15. SIREEN says:

    This should be considered here, You take your pension and retire, Step aside, and make way for others in need or you take no pension and continue your job contract.  Caymanians are too greedy when it comes to money., and I am not a foreigner I am a Caymanian saying this.  They are my people, but trust me sometimes they make me sick with their money greediness, and only care about them selves.  I dont know how they can critize anyone else.

  16. Anonymous says:

    He said he had been theone scapegoated for 'double dipping but asking what was he supposed to do about his own earned benefits he said should he “wait until he was dead” He pointed out that if that were the case, his wife would receive only half of the benefit that he had worked for and earned. Bush said that although some believed it was not right to take a pension while still working for the same employer, he did not agree.

    No you don't have to wait until you're dead Mr Bush.  Just like the rest of us, you should wait until you really do retire, i.e. stop working and start taking it easy.  And with all due respect, that time can't come soon enough for Cayman.

    “There is nothing wrong with that,' he added. “These days when life is so uncertain, when a person comes to that point in their lives when they can get paid back what they paid, why shouldn't they be able to get their pension?”

    There's plenty wrong with that.  What makes you so different from the rest of us?  We can't get back what we paid until we really do retire, and you shouldn't be able to either.  And as an expat, does that mean I no longer have to wait two years from leaving the island to get back my own pension money?

    He suggested the public criticisms about it were based on jealousy but that no one was doing anything wrong or immoral.

    Not jealous at all, I wouldn't want to be like you… in any way… ever!  It is morally wrong to us, the public, particularly in the light of Cayman's current very poor state of financial affairs.  It seems to me you don't much understand the difference between morally right and morally wrong Mr Bush – that much is clear from your dealings the last couple of years.

    The ban in T&C should be introduced here with immediate effect.  As should the recommendations of the Miller Shaw report.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That picture is such a strange resemblance.

    • Alan Nivia says:

      Has the pig got a fax machine?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry he can't afford one. Besides, his perks include free and unlimited use of ours. And it doesn't even have to be for ethical purposes. 

  18. Alan Nivia says:

    Cayman's culture of greed will mean this obviously right decision won't be taken here until the British intervene.  Their greed and arrogance was highlighted by the despicable FOI fight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil servants give their best years to government and end up with a small pension compared to MLAs, who serve less years and spend limited time in the service of the country and end up with more pension than the civil servant.

      Figure that out and see who benefits from pension.  Civil servants are told they cannot have a business, yet the MLAs can have as many as they want.  Show me the even playfield.

    • Anonymous says:

      Greed and arrogance don't discriminate by nationality