Philipsburg – August 27th, 2020. The General Audit Chamber submitted its report entitled Compliance audit: 2019 Financial Statements of the General Pension Fund Sint Maarten (Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten – APS) to Parliament today. The report addresses findings and conclusions resulting from the review of the pension fund’s 2019 financial statement.
The Fund’s coverage ratio at the end of 2019 was 103.8% (2018: 97.6%). Despite the increase, the Fund’s capital remains insufficient to cover general and investment risks.
On June 3rd, 2020, Parliament approved pension reform legislation. APS’ task is to manage the fund in a fundamentally sound manner. The amended law provides APS with additional options to do so. If the coverage ratio is not structurally healthy after the implementation of a recovery plan, or if substantial measures have to be taken at the expense of the participant, the General Audit Chamber believes that APS’ functioning cannot be overlooked. In the context of “good governance”, they believe it is appropriate for the fund to have its performance objectively evaluated.
During their investigation, the Audit Chamber specifically analyzed the progress of APS’ local investment projects. Their overall conclusion is that little significant progress was made during the last five years. Target dates shift, expectations are adjusted and there is no clear substantiation for new (updated) schedules. The report provides several examples: a parking facility originally scheduled for 2020 that is given a lower priority, construction which has not started on a planned eco-hotel in Mary’s Fancy, development of the new APS headquarters is still unclear and, APS provides a variety of reasons to explain the slow sales of homes at Oryx Hills.