Government Continues To Engage Stakeholders On The Pension Ruling

PR – The Government of Grenada continues to use the collaborative approach  in dealing with matters of national importance. 

Prime Minister, Dr. the Rt.Hon. Keith Mitchell hosted a virtual meeting of the Social  Partners Committee last week, to discuss the recent High Court ruling on the pension  issue and its implications for the country. 

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of having thorough discussions with local  and international stakeholders to ascertain the way forward, given the wider implications  for the entire country, not only public officers. 

Dr. Mitchell stated that while the fiscal implications of the ruling are a critical consideration,  there are also legal and other implications that are equally important.  

Underscoring the significance of the pension ruling, the Prime Minister stated that it is not  only for public officers but for all Grenadians who will have to contribute to any fiscal  measures that may become necessary to allow the state to fund pension payouts. 

“This is not a simple issue” he stated, “it is quite complex but we must remain sober and  level-headed as we chart the way forward. We must ensure as far as possible, that we  create a state of equilibrium, not a situation where one fraction of the population benefits  while others have to make additional sacrifices to facilitate these same benefits. Therefore  through this and other engagements we are having, Government will seek to determine  the best next steps.” 

Last week’s meeting also included contributions on legal matters by Attorney General,  Dia Forrester, former Attorney General, Sir Lawrence Joseph and UK-based litigation and  arbitration attorney, Akima Paul-Lambert. Finance Minister, Honourable Gregory Bowen  spoke on potential implications of the pension ruling.

More than 80 persons representing various stakeholder groups, participated in the  meeting.  

The feedback shared by participants included the need to find a reasonable solution,  given the size of the financial burden; implications of the ruling for Grenada’s Fiscal  Responsibility Act; the need for specific engagement with the trade unions. There was  also a suggestion for educational programmes on retirement planning so that retirees are  encouraged not to be solely reliant on pension.