A retired employee of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), who for almost five years has mysteriously been receiving no pension, recently received a shocking revelation about the missing
The employee retired in 2015 and was enrolled in the corporation’s pension plan. The retiree, who requested that his identity be withheld, has now been made aware that thousands of dollars due to him in pension payments were being diverted to someone else’s account.
It is understood that the payments from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL), which makes pension payments on behalf of the CBC, discovered the discrepancy earlier this week.
ICBL has since contacted the former employee to rectify the situation and will reportedly meet the aggrieved ex-worker as part of efforts to determine whether any criminal liability is involved and to ensure the pensioner receives his due.
It is also unclear up to this point, whether the case is isolated or if other workers enrolled in the CBC’s pension plan have been affected as well.
The CBC pension plan was established November 1, 2012 and was also registered with the Financial Services Commission on that date. The plan assumes responsibility for the payment of benefits to members who were formerly members of the Statutory Corporations Pension Fund. Members benefits under the CBC plan are identical to those under the former plan, except where changes were mandated by the Occupational Pension Benefits Act, Cap 350B. Members are not required to contribute to the plan except if they select to make additional voluntary contributions.
“I was laying down in my bed on Tuesday and a woman from ICBL called me to find out if I was getting my pension regularly and I asked, ‘on a regular basis? I never got a cent in pension’. She then told me that according to her records, I am getting a pension,” said the aggrieved man.
After retiring nearly five years ago, the pensioner opted for a lump sum gratuity payment, to be followed by monthly pension payments. Upon enquiring about why the payments never came, he was told by a CBC official that he would have to wait until he reached the pensionable age of 67. It has now been two years since his 67th birthday.
“From what the girl is saying, my pension is going to someone else. I didn’t question it before, but one day I asked another retiree in my department and he told me he was receiving his. So it leaves a lot to be investigated. That is all I could say,” he added.
The ex-employee said his intention was not to get anyone in trouble, but to simply get all his money retroactively.
“I don’t want to cause anybody’s burden, but I would like my money. I would like it to be settled and if I am to get ten cents, let me get the ten cents retroactively. I don’t know how much it is, because none of that was ever discussed with me. It may not have been a lot on a monthly basis, but like everything else, it adds up.
“The person at the CBC who I was dealing with was giving me generalised information. I was very uncertain as to my relationship with the CBC in respect of pension,” he said.
The pensioner said a legal representative in his family would be accompanying him to the ICBL early next week.
Efforts to reach the ICBL’s pension administrator, Katrina Hunte have been unsuccessful.
However, acting General Manager of the CBC, Sherwood McCaskie who only took up office in April this year said the matter was first brought to his attention by Barbados TODAY, but admitted it is of concern to the corporation.
“It will be investigated,” said McCaskie.
Meanwhile, the former employee said he hoped his case would result in a “clear refashioning of the CBC’s product, where the board recognises that the executive producers of CBC are the taxpayers.”