There is a big difference between resignation and retirement

November 22, 2008 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
Since my letter provoked some response, I would like to further comment on this issue. There is a big difference between resignation and retirement.

The common thread is that both terminate the contract of employment, but the reasons and consequences that follow differ.

There is an obvious conflict between Adam Harris and the Chronicle in terms of his termination. Harris maintained that he resigned while the Chronicle states that he retired and was paid a gratuity and pension.

So, I will attempt to examine the consequences of retirement based on the claim of Harris that he was shortchanged.

A pension scheme can either be contributory or non-contributory and a gratuity and pension is normally paid at the age of retirement.

For example, the retirement age in the Public Service is 55 years and the scheme is non-contributory. Retirement age may differ in some organizations and may vary between 55 to 65 years.

At the age of normal retirement, an employee will be entitled to a gratuity and pension for life. This basically is the purpose of a pension scheme.

Some schemes, if not all, provides for employees to retire before normal retirement age with payment of a reduced gratuity and pension.

This may occur in cases of prolonged illness, but other qualifications for pension may apply such as being over fifty years of age with more than ten years pensionable service.

This is also one circumstance where an employee can resign and be paid a reduced pension and gratuity. It may also occur in cases of redundancy.

I am not aware of any other circumstances where an employee can retire and receive a gratuity and pension.
I assume therefore that Adam Harris falls within one of these categories, unless the Chronicle has some scheme that provides otherwise. If not, it would be interesting for the Chronicle to explain on what basis Adam Harris was paid.

Did he reach retirement age or was he over 50 years at the time of his retirement with 10 years pensionable service.

The Chronicle also states that Adam Harris was attached to the New Nation for seven years then rejoined the Chronicle, and consequently that period was treated as continuous for purpose of computation of his pension. Can the Chronicle say why the change of heart from the previous positions where this period was not treated as continuous?

The New Nation is an arm of the P.N.C. party and the party is separate from government, so why did the Chronicle join that period of service? And, why is Corbin complaining since the decision to rejoin was done by the P.P.P.

Can the Chronicle say if Sharif Khan is sent to work with the Mirror, whether his service would be treated as continuous?

Can I now apply for a government pension using my ten years of service with Demerara Distilleries Ltd., having spent 18 years previously as a public servant and a further 10 years from 1996 to 2006 when I rejoined the Public Service?

Maybe I should pursue my case with the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, since I am not in receipt of any pension after serving the government faithfully for twenty eight years, but I resigned prior to joining D.D.L.

With respect to Demerara Distilleries Ltd., I was fortunate to be in the 50 years, 10 years service category so I am receiving a princely monthly pension of $4,000.00 Guyana dollars.

My appeal by way of letter to the Managing Director and Chairman for a redundancy pay was probably thrown in the waste paper basket, since I was not even afforded the courtesy of a response. But why worry, that is how enlightened management operates.
D. Sookdeo

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