GERS: Retirees to receive bonus next month
Published: October 27, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Government retirees who are eligible can expect to receive their annual bonus payment next month, just in time for the holidays.
The V.I. Government Employees Retirement System released a statement Friday saying that the bonuses would be issued to retirees on Nov. 21, which is the day before Thanksgiving.
The release did not say how much the bonuses, funded by payments from the V.I. Lottery, are going to be.
GERS Administrator Austin Nibbs said he did not know yet on Friday how much the bonuses will be. GERS has received three payments from the Lottery this year and was expecting the final payment on Friday, Nibbs said.
The amount of the bonuses will be based on how much money the Lottery sends and how many retirees are eligible for the bonus.
Under V.I. Code, the Lottery is to transfer not less than $2.27 million from its annual net income to GERS for the bonus payments. However, the transfer is subject to the availability of funds, and the entire amount is not always sent.
GERS pays the bonuses from whatever the Lottery provides, dividing it evenly among eligible retirees. Last year, for example, the Lottery paid only a portion of the $2.27 million, so the bonuses were less.
Last year, each bonus amounted to $183.04 gross, or $137.28 net.
To qualify for the bonus payments, an annuitant or pensioner must be at least 60 years old, have been on the GERS payroll for at least one year, and must have been eligible to receive a cost of living adjustment by July 15 of this year, according to GERS.
The timing of the bonus payment to retirees in November is a relatively recent change in the law, approved in a bill Gov. John deJongh Jr. signed into law earlier this month.
Previously, the bonus payments were supposed to be issued by Sept. 30, but with the recent change, GERS is required to pay the bonuses by Nov. 30.
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