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GuySuCo pension fund under severe pressure – source

first_imgSeveral employees – past and present – of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) are worried about the status of their full pension benefits as the pension fund is in deep trouble.Reports are that the Employees Retirement Benefits is in negative territory by $1.1 billion as opposed to $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the 2015 financial statements produced by GuySuCo.A GuySuCo source told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the fund has seen a constant decline over the past few years and the closure of the estates will add enormous pressure on it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“It was under severe pressure before and now that GuySuCo is now retrenching, several employees who would have been eligible for the pension may suffer,” the source opined.It was also noted that the scheme, which is open to salaried employees of GuySuCo, who would have been contributing to the pension scheme, may have been severed.“That will be an onerous pressure to the scheme, because you have new people who are coming in to receive a pension,” the source added, noting that this was a major worry for many fired employees.Meanwhile, a former employee of the Corporation told this newspaper that since the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) pulled out from the fund, it has also added pressure.The employee, who asked not to be named as well, is of the firm view that Government had to be aware of the dilemma.He said this on the basis that there was no likelihood that foreign investors would have joined the fund, as the Financial Act currently prohibits certain levels of offshore investment.According to the former employee, there is a likelihood that the scheme will lose its viability to provide a pension for those who are already receiving a pension, because of the lack of investment portfolios.“The pension is already burdened by those already receiving a pension and it will be exacerbated by the additional people who will now become eligible for pension as a result of being severed from the company,” he added.While the pension fund had been in trouble before the new Government took office in 2015, there was no move made to stabilise the fund, especially in light of plans to downsize the industry.Asked to comment on the status of the fund on Wednesday, President David Granger said he was unaware of the issues relating to the fund and has not been apprised of information about it.“We respect the different stakeholders in the industry and I would say that we have not been provided at Cabinet level, with any information about the pension fund, but we know at this point in time that the central Government has been asked to provide funds for the termination benefits…I cannot answer now on the status of the pension fund, but you know for the last 32 months or so, the Government of Guyana has been bailing out GuySuCo almost at the rate of $1 billion per month,” he stated.last_img read more