Puerto Rico gov’t retirement system administrator assures pensions won’t be cut
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Government Employees Retirement Administrator Luis Collazo assured on Tuesday that government pensions will not be cut.
“There is no reduction, it isn’t contemplated and it is not acceptable for the government of Puerto Rico. Today, that money is assured for future pensions; people have once again felt confident that their money is there,” Collazo said in a written statement.
Collazo made his remarks at a public hearing of the Social & Economic Revitalization Committee, chaired by Sen. Zoé Laboy, to clarify concerns related to Senate Resolution 188.
This resolution orders an investigation into the impact of Puerto Rico’s economic crisis on the local population’s financial security, with special emphasis on elderly people; the results obtained from public and private measures to provide financial education; and identify alliances to strengthen individual financial security to generate a positive impact on the island’s economy.
Collazo explained there are several programs to counsel and educate future pensioners and beneficiaries about their retirement options.
Among them is an orientation for human resources directors and coordinators of the government’s retirement affairs on the Voluntary Transition Program, the New Retirement Act. In addition, the resolution creates the Pension Assistance Program, which serves as a link between the pensioner and government agencies.
However, Laboy expressed dissatisfaction with the programs because she understands they will not educate the newer generations involved in public service
“Beyond serving HR managers, they must serve all employees. I want that, in the next six months, it be presented to the committee where this educational plan for government employees is headed,” the senator said.
The Government and Judiciary Retirement System Administration said there are 120,000 pensioners, with an average pension of $1,141 [per month]. The judiciary has 304 pensioners and 53 beneficiaries with an average monthly pension of $4,842.
Popular Democratic Sen. Miguel Pereira and Itzamar Peña, senator at large, were also present at the public hearing. The committee said the hearings will continue this week and next, when businessowner Manuel Cidre and Financial Institutions Commissioner George Joyner will be cited.