Republic Bank may be responsible for the non-payment of pensions to retirees of defunct state-owned oil company Petrotrin, according to the latter.
In a brief media statement, Petrotrin said in keeping with the rules of the trust deed of the Petrotrin pension plan, the pension representative “wrote to Republic Bank Ltd, the Pension Fund Trustee, on June 10, 2019 directing the Trustee – upon receipt of the calculations from the Secretary of the Pension Plan’s Management Committee – to process and make payable all revised pension benefits to the relevant personnel by July 1, 2019.”During the week of June 17, the secretary of the pension plan’s management committee told the bank the calculations had been completed and were ready. The media release did not say whether the bank had received or would implement the new pension calculations.However, not having received the pension payments a month later, retirees demonstrated noisily outside Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre administration building on Wednesday morning. A meeting was subsequently held with OWTU senior labour relations officer Gregory Marchan and a small delegation of retirees later in the day.In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Marchan said several issues remain outstanding. “It was not the response I expected but we met, and there are still issues coming out and there is a this side and that side, so I am not clear who is dealing with the matter….and that is where we have a problem.”He said the pension fund has recorded a deficit of some $2 million, which could increase with the addition of approximately 1,500 new members joining the plan since the company closed last November.The bank’s corporate communications department has not yet responded to queries about the pension plan.