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St. Maarten Social and Health Insurance SZV: FZOG cannot request direct reimbursement from pensioners

SATURDAY, 26 JANUARY 2013

PHILIPSBURG–Social and Health Insurance SZV says it is of the opinion that the FZOG fund cannot request reimbursement directly from pensioners in St. Maarten.

The insurance service provider informed Social Insurance Bank SVB Curaçao and FZOG Fund Director Philip Martis of its opinion via a letter on January 23.

SZV made this announcement in a press release on Friday, in response to an article published in the Monday, January 21, edition of The Daily Herald in which a retired former civil servant and teacher raised concerns about a letter from the FZOG fund sent to retired civil servants and teachers.

The letter was written in Papiamentu, a language not many St. Maarteners speak, and informed the pensioners that the FZOG fund had paid the 10 per cent health care cost which those civil servants and former teachers were to pay for themselves, for the last five years. It also informed the pensioners that the FZOG fund was now seeking reimbursement of these expenses, starting February 2013. It said the 10 per cent would be withheld from their pensions from that month onwards.

A chart was shown in the letter, informing pensioners of the amount the FZOG fund would withhold from their monthly pension payments, based on the amount of pension they receive.

In its release on Friday, SZV said it had been the entity that takes care of the health care cost for retired civil servants and teachers since 10/10/10 and the general pension fund APS was the entity that pays them their pensions.
“As of 10/10/10, the FZOG fund, SVB Curaçao and APNA can therefore not ask St. Maarten pensioners for any reimbursement of payments made for or on their behalf.

“Furthermore, when the Netherlands Antilles split up, it was decided by Kingdom law that the islands should divide all assets and funds (including the FZOG fund) and any claims they would have against each other (one of such being reimbursement of cost) would have to be taken into consideration,” SZV said in the release.

“Therefore the FZOG fund cannot claim reimbursement from any pensioner directly.”

SZV said it “sincerely regrets” that pensioners in St. Maarten received this letter written in Papiamentu and hoped SVB Curaçao, the FZOG fund and APNA would discuss this with SZV and APS in the future, prior to contacting the pensioners directly.

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