Trinidad Express / A former senior police officer wants Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and Finance Minister Colm Imbert to explain why retired officers have not been paid their back pay.
“It is my understanding that since June last year the Government has given the money to the police service in two tranches to pay out. Officers who are serving currently have received their just due but for some strange reason, officers who retired but are eligible for back pay haven’t gotten theirs.
“Another area of concern is the arrears to our pension and gratuity payments. No matter how many times we call to enquire, we cannot get an answer from anyone.
“Apparently they are waiting for us to die without us enjoying the fruits of our labour,” the retired officer said.
The former officer said since March they were given the assurance that their benefit payments would be settled but that has just been talk with no intent of honouring that commitment.
“In May the pension department sent our files to the auditors contracted to treat with our issue, but at this present time nothing has been done. And whenever you call is always call back next week, how many next week do we have to put up with before we receive what is rightfully ours.”
He said that there are retired officers who are stilling paying mortgages while there are others who have children at universities.
“September is the end of the Government’s financial year and that may posed a problem of its own so we are asking National Security Minister Edmund Dillon and Police Commissioner Steven Williams to please ensure we get with is our and do not wait for us to die.”
When Express contacted the Finance Branch of the police service a senior supervisor said there’s a process that needs to be followed before retired officers receive their money.
“We have to bring the arrears to increments up to date, then have those worksheets have to be sent to the audit department to be reviewed and signed off on.
“It is not that we’re not paying them or we don’t intend to, but payments can only be made when the files come back from audit and as soon as we receive those files we will make the necessary payments.”
The official said that some retired officers would have received their back pay while those outstanding are in the process of being finalized.