PM Drew: GAEs to start receiving pensions in July

Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew delivered long awaited good news to Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) who will now be able to receive a pension upon retirement from service. 

This is the fulfilment of an election promise by the Labour Party to ensure that GAEs can enjoy many of the protections and benefits that public servants already do. 

“The Pension Reform Task Force, on the advice of Cabinet, had engaged with an actuary to guide the process to ensure equity and sustainability. The task force is well advanced in this work, and they have prioritised the pension payment to GAEs who exited the government system prior to December 31st, 2024,” Dr. Drew explained as he addressed the National Assembly on 2nd May, 2024. 

“In less than two years since I became prime minister, my Cabinet colleagues and I were able to bring together the framework for the operationalisation of pension payments, and Madame Speaker, we are at the point where we can now say from the task force, and from the actuary, that the payments will begin in July of 2024,” he continued. 

This announcement is welcome news to hundreds of workers who have reached retirement age already and several thousand more who are still actively in the service.

To be eligible to receive a pension, a GAE must have reached the age of 62 and must have given at least fifteen years of service.

These workers also endured additional hardships as in 2021, the former administration put a stop to the end-of-tenure gratuity which rewarded GAEs for their years of service. After coming to office, however, Prime Minister Drew restored the gratuity payments for GAEs and presented the first group of 34 eligible persons with their cheques in a ceremony held on 12th June 2023. This initial payout totalled more than EC$700,000.00.

In December of the same year, the Drew administration also introduced a three percent Contributory Pension Plan which provides retirement benefits to both GAEs and public servants who have been in government service since 18th May, 2012.

GAEs include crossing guards, community beautification workers and apprentices and trainees in various industries.

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