Sun | Feb 18, 2018

Gov't moving to recover Port Authority of Jamaica pension payments

Published:Tuesday | January 23, 2018 | 5:23 PM
This afternoon, Holness said the Supreme Court ruled in November 2017 that it is proper for the Port Authority of Jamaica to seek to recover the money, in line with the auditor general’s recommendation. – File Photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the government will now be taking steps to recover millions of dollars in unauthorised pension and gratuity payments made to at least 14 senior executives of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).

The recommendation for the monies to be recovered was made by the auditor general in a July 2016 report.

However, two of the former PAJ employees challenged the matter in court.

This afternoon, Holness said the Supreme Court ruled in November 2017 that it is proper for the PAJ to seek to recover the money, in line with the auditor general’s recommendation.

However, he noted there could be an appeal of the court’s decision.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

In her report to Parliament in July 2016, Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis, said the contracts of 14 senior executives of the Authority provided for the payment of a retirement benefit, in addition to the payment of gratuity of 25 per cent of gross taxable income.

However, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service policy dictates that gratuity payments are made in lieu of pension or retirement benefits and are calculated on basic pay only.

Monroe Ellis reported that one senior officer received three pension benefits, including a so-called 'golden handshake' valued at more than $100 million, plus gratuity amounting to $31.33 million.