Amendment To Cover Shortfall In Annual Bonus Pay To Retirees Adopted
July 7, 2022
St. Thomas, USVI- Today is another big win for the retirees of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Earlier this year, the 34th Legislature addressed the solvency of the Government Employees’ Retirement System. However since 2018 retirees have not received the full complement of the annual bonus payment payable pursuant to Act 7070. Each year before July 15, the V.I. Lottery is to transfer no less than $2,270,000 to GERS for the bonus payment. Over the past several years, the V.I. Lottery has not been able to transfer the minimum sum as required by law due to the impacts of the hurricanes of 2017 and the global pandemic.
Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory along with Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr., offered Amendment 34- 558 to Bill No. 34-0167 to pay retroactive the shortfalls for fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020 by September 30, 2022. Senator Frett-Gregory stated that during the deliberations for the FY2023 Budget, the shortfalls for FY 2021 and 2022 will be considered. “In reviewing revenue collections for this fiscal year, it became apparent that we have the ability to address the shortfall, and begin to make retirees whole,” stated Senator Frett-Gregory. “The adoption of this amendment is critical and timely, as the cost of living continues to rise in the territory.”
Frett-Gregory also offered an amendment of $1.5 million to support the construction of a cricket field in Estate Nazareth. The closure of the Cancryn field since the storms of 2017 halted cricket and this funding will allow for the return of the sport to the territory. Senator Frett-Gregory thanks her colleagues on the Rules Committee for supporting both amendments and look forward to the support of the full body during the upcoming legislative session.