Feb. 26, 2004 – A Government Employees Retirement System release issued on Thursday states that the GERS board of trustees "fully intends to pay interest on refunds of contributions" in accordance with the V.I. Code as amended.
The release, sent out over the signature of Laurence Bryan, GERS administrator, apparently was in response to one issued on Wednesday by Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg. He accused the retirement system of having ignored a law which took effect in June of 2000 mandating payment of 4 percent interest on employee contributions at the time they are withdrawn by a government worker not eligible for retirement. (See "Senator: GERS not paying interest to opt-outs".)
Donastorg sponsored the legislation. "While the GERS offers significant benefits to those who stay with the government in the long term, those who wish to leave public service before retirement age were receiving no return whatsoever on the wages they were forced to contribute," he said on Wednesday. He said he hoped the board would begin complying with the law "voluntarily" — and vowed to take action if it did not.
The GERS release issued on Thursday states: "The system is currently in the process of compiling the required historical membership refund data to determine eligible recipients and will forward this information to the system's actuary for a proper determination of the calculation formula."
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