PHILIPSBURG, Effective January 1, 2023, the maximum AOV old age pension for the elderly will be increased from Naf 1240,- monthly to Naf 1338,-. This is based on article 7, sub 3 of the national decree containing general measures. The Widow(er) and Orphan (AWW) pensions will also be increased.

The indexation for 2023, is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the second quarter of 2021 (2.84%) and the second quarter of 2022 (4.91%), as calculated by the Department of Statistics (STAT). The Social & Health Insurances SZV will pay out the increased amounts in accordance with their internal procedures.

Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Honorable Omar Ottley stated that the request for the increase had already been approved by the Council of Ministers and sent to the Sociaal Economische Raad (SER) and Council of Advice (COA) for vetting, but unfortunately was met with the conflict between the law and the current situation. Currently, the legislation that requires indexation of AOW/AWW must use the CPI of August.

At the moment Sint Maarten and the Netherlands only calculate quarterly CPIs. According to the SER, COA and the Governor, all legislation must be amended accordingly before increases can take place. As Minister of VSA, I find it extremely important to ensure that the Landsverordening (LVO) is amended so that future indexations do not encounter any further delays to the pension increase.

Although the needed changes to the legislation will disrupt the immediate increase of payouts, the Ministry has completed the draft LVO and has already sent it through the legislative trajectory, to ensure the AOV/AWW pension amounts increase for 2023 takes place. The legislation is slated to be completed by the second quarter of this year with retroactive payment from January 1st, 2023.

While the effectualization of the legislation may cost some delays, the pensioners can rest assured that the increases will take place as SZV has already published the proposed increased figures to allow all stakeholders the proper time to prepare.

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