How Much Money does the PSWT Have?
Now, if the trust is dissolved, there is the expectation that several additional challenges will arise. For instance, the exact number of beneficiaries, both living and dead, and the amount each beneficiary is entitled to Trustee Philip Castillo says it will be uncharted waters that the trust will venture into.
Philip Castillo, Trustee, Public Sector Workers Trust: “The challenge we’re having is with teachers who were employed at grant aided schools meaning that if you were a teacher employed with the government you’re a public officer and government would have your name but if you’re employed with the grant aided schools, the church state system at that time government would have given your pay basically to the church or the school and then the school pays you. So government didn’t pay you directly so getting those names from the church institutions after twenty something years is proving to be a challenge. We’re still trying but it’s proving to be a challenge.”
Reporter: And what’s the amount of money we’re talking about ?
Philip Castillo, Trustee, Public Sector Workers Trust: “Well the last audited figures at the end of the audit in 2021 which is on our website all our audited data is on our website, the value of the trust was over $9.7 million dollars but of that amount we had just over $8 million in cash. We have put out the advertisement for the audit for 2022 and when that audit start and when that audit is done then we’ll know the cash outlays that were spent on projects in 2022. We have been spending money, we’ve been spending money on these ongoing projects and then the issue is that the trust has not been generating monies as before. We rely on the dividends from BTL shares which have been falling, we rely on an account we have with government those are our two main sources of income. We also bought bonds from the St.Catherine’s Academy Mercy Bonds, those are our three main sources of income. As I said we have around ten thousand beneficiaries we estimate. Some beneficiaries have unfortunately passed on, we think around two hundred beneficiaries have passed on. Our legal advice is that when you pass on your interest in the trust would also cease, that is our current legal advice. I know that beneficiaries want to change that and well that’s where we are. If that is changed then obviously we have to account for those beneficiaries who have deceased. Obviously the lawyers and the auditors and the actuaries and the accountants need to be paid.”
Reporter: Yes and then also a calculation scheme in terms of interest and years served would that be the case as well ?
Philip Castillo, Trustee, Public Sector Workers Trust: “Absolutely not. We would be in uncharted territory but I would think that it would be a straight calculation because the beneficiaries have made the claim that these monies are their increments. We have challenged that and the court has obviously agreed with us these monies are not your increments. Now you’d be fully aware that increments in the public service are such that different categories of workers get different increments. A permanent secretary for example who is now a CEO would have gotten a substantially different increment from say a messenger or a clerk or somebody like that. But as far as we are concerned if we come to distribution as mandated by the court I see nothing except a straightforward distribution, an equal distribution.”
Meanwhile, the president of the Association of Beneficiaries and Retired Public Officers, Hubert Enriquez, says that the figures shared by the Public Service Workers Trust may not be accurate.