Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands looks into St. Eustatius investments

ST. EUSTATIUS--Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands (PCN) board members Roy Hooker and Harald Linkels held discussions last week about a number of potential investments in St. Eustatius.
PCN, as of late, has been actively looking for potential investment projects in Bonaire, Statia and Saba. The visit to Statia also took place in that light.
Linkels and Hooker spoke to six parties interested in investing in Statia by making use of funds the pension fund may have available.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the interest in project financing in St. Eustatius. In total there is a demand of over US $30 million for the projects we spoke about,” said PCN Board President Harald Linkels.
He explained that this is more than PCN alone can finance. “However, together with other Dutch Caribbean pension funds, with which we participate in the pension fund umbrella organisation CaPAs, we are sure we can arrange financing of this magnitude.”
Linkels also said he and Hooker were “pleasantly surprised” by the number and quality of planned projects on the island. “If you look at the number of plans and potential investments, things are looking quite promising for St. Eustatius when it comes to economic development. Something we are very happy about.”
Linkels explained that the PCN board is especially interested in financing projects which are relevant to the communities of Bonaire, Statia and Saba. This means investment in items which will improve the quality of life on the islands, lead to economic development or create better infrastructure. Investment in the preservation of historically important buildings is another focal point for PCN.
At the same time, the Board is looking to generate a healthy return on investments, be it local or abroad, to ensure that PCN capital continues to grow at a healthy pace.
The representatives of the Board also paid a courtesy visit to Government Commissioner Mike Franco, who said he was interested in the opportunity of PCN-investments in the island.
PCN held a general meeting with pensioners and contributors. During the meeting questions were posed, such as whether the 3.5 per cent deduction from their pension would be reinstated. Linkels answered that this would not be possible as it would be against the law.
Asked if members would receive a bonus from the pension fund as they do in the Netherlands, the answer was “No.”
Questions were also posed about persons who had paid into the pension fund, but the funds had never reached General Pension Fund Netherlands Antilles APNA, Linkels stated that these persons would be reinstated in their pension as the Netherlands had contributed to the pension fund.
Persons who had been working, but whose salary was beneath the required amount, will not be allowed to enter the pension fund, it was stated.

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