LETTER: Fed Up of The Situation At Social Security Board


Dear Editor,


I am hungry, anxious, and heavily depressed in the current state of finances I am in currently. I have not gotten a pension or Social Security check since June, 2021 of this year.


Ever since they started to send checks directly to the banks, the banks keep telling me there is no money available yet.


I’ve called Social Security and they told me that the cash flow is very slow and try to be patent.


Since then, I have stop calling Social Security and started to borrow money from a few family members I have remaining in this country who mostly works for the government, but its only so much I can borrow before I put myself in extreme depth. They too have been receiving their salaries from government late.


The issues I have is senior citizens like myself and others are suffering enormous financial pains and strains, and the government led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne has a large delegation travel with him to COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, for climate change summit, yet we cannot get monies which we have contributed to the Social Security while we were working.


Taxpayers’ monies fund their travels, peridium’s, accommodation while we the seniors are suffering. The priority of this administration is absolutely messed up.


The government, the board and head of Social Security should all resign for the way they have treated senior citizens and they all should be ashamed of themselves.


The politicians in power right now have not taken a paycheck, the board and staff at Social Security and other government institutions has been paid their monies owed to them rightfully so why can we the senior who worked sweat, blood and tears who contributed to Social Security can get paid.


I am absolutely fed up, disgusted and sickened by the treatment meted out to us by the government and Social Security. We need our monies; we have bills to pay, and we have to feed ourselves, the wickedness needs to stop.


Election time I don’t want to hear from ANY POLITICIAN at all. Just fake promises and lies you all are about.



Fed Up Senior Citizen

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  1. You must be the only pensioner then that have not received their pension from since June. It’s now October and Social Security is paying September pensions. the only large backlog are the beneficiaries such as sick benefits, maternity leave, funeral grant. But the government make millions available to Social Security to pay the pensions. Everyone knows the times we are living in. Covid has damage economies all over the world. Only those that can print their own monies are able to do so, with the cost if inflation. And in Antigua no one should go hungry because we have so many social programs and NGO’s that provide food packages for the needy. We even saw at Independence Day the Soup Kitchen providing over forty different types of meals for the needy free of cost.

    • Sidelines:He is not the only Pensioner not being paid for months at a time.I have relatives in Antigua going through the same thing. The Government took monies from Social Security over the years. They did not repay it with cash. They instead allocated real estate assets to the Social Security Board. Those assets are sitting there not generating any incomes for Social Security.Take a look at the former US Air Base,as an example.You are eating from the trough at this time. However,that would soon be running dry. Then what are you going to do.

      • You’re lying…. no social security pensioner is owed beyond September…. y’all really have an Agenda to fulfill….smdh

        • @ Slow Brained Talker: How much your big mouthed arse is willing to bet me? There are persons in Antigua and Barbuda and outside of Antigua. Who have not been paid for months. Even though they have sent in their living Certificates on time,every time it is required.

        • Actually ..he is not kying. I was in SS yesterday and heard the CSR tell a pensioner that. Maybe he retired in June IDK. But I heard the agent said they paying for Sept now so he will get a lump sum but she couldnt say when. The pensioner said bank charging him late fees and he tired come there. He even asked if payments done alphabetically. The agent said she dont know. Soo people not lying

      • This Gaston Browne Government has not taken a dime out of Social Security and in fact has been putting more than their fair share into the funds. Yes, we are all aware of the monies owed by past governments. But if Social Security was run like any other Social Security fund it still may have encounter problems with the monies it would have invested in the stock markets. Remember how much money was lost in the 2008 Financial Crisis. With the CLICO financial crisis, and now the World Covid 19 Epidemic that has devastated every country’s economy. We should be happy that our Social Security Act does have a clause that makes the government responsible for any shortfall that the funds may experience from time to time. Although I believe this clause need to be scrapped and at the same time government needs to be prevented to borrow any money from the funds and pay their contributions on time. And they should establish a repayment plan and stick to it. I am a recipient, and my pension is paid into my bank account with the most two months delay at any one time. You guys must stop your lying and try to spread division for your selfish political ambition. Social Security does not single out who they will pay and who not. I wish they would case they can take my pension and give it to the neediest. I have made that suggestion some time ago. People like Harold Lovell are getting a pension from the government, and a pension from Social Security, and on top of that he still has his law practice. But as greedy as these people are, they will never make suggestions such as these. If he were a real caring politician, he would take the money from that social security pension and personally share it with the needy in his constituency. When Gaston was in opposition, he took his personal money, went to Barbuda and paid the council worker who had not been paid for many weeks. That is what you call caring. Lester used to do the same. But UPP politicians are greedy and selfish. They do not see the need of the people they want to serve as a priority. Reason why they should be rejected at the poll. Their heart is not in the right place. It’s all of self as Obstinate use to sing.

        • You have really gone of key. I thought you were more Antiguan and less POLITICAL HACK. I will never side with anyone who uses someone else bad behavior to justify another’s bad behavior. You are beginning to sound like your girl friend Tenman! I remembered when you sounded more even. Both parties messed up SS and neither seems to have any idea on how to fix it and they all lie to get into power then puff and that is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Get off your knees man!

          • What didn’t you hear me say? I never said that the ALP didn’t borrow from Social Security. I said this Gaston Browne administration did not. And that is a fact. if you have proof to the contrary, please provide that. If not take back your accusations. Even the PM has said it over and over that previous Labour Party messed up with Social Security. But you cannot put that on his term.

    • What the hell covid19 have to to with the people their pension?? You sound like a don%ey. When they was paying for their pension, its suppose to be there ready for when they need it.

      • if you were smart enough you would understand that Covid has everything to do with the economies of every country and therefore the ability of governments all over to earn revenues and pay their bills.

  2. From the side line you need to stfu. Pensions havent been paid since June.And for a fact its now November. Let the person air their views. How many of these social programs are up running right now? Tell me. Its shameful how institutions such Rotary Club etc reaches out to the people in various communities to help them out with food packages. They themselves did an exceptional job. What did the Government of this Country was doing for the people who were left jobless because of the pandemic. The people to me is in power cuz they the people put you there. They can take you out any given time. When are we gonna wake up? Your forcing children to take vaccines. Madness. They have a right to an education. Having for any student be rediculed to be forced a mandate vaccination. How many of yall in the Ablp actually took their vaccines? You went so far as to messs with people jobs putting them on a henge. It doesnt stop you from ketching the virus nor been hospitalized nor dying so why is it yall forcing this shit on people. Isnt it the rights of people that they should choose and make that decision on their own. Your putting people out of bread for foolishness. What are you really doing for this Country ? Yall only come around election time to bribe people and give them money. Why not help the people when they are in need of help. Some yall Antigua people stupid. Yall could never ever get my vote again ever. Sickening as hell right now.

    • As a Rotarian we have been given food to the needy now for decades it is not something that came about because of Covid. And my wife being part of the St. Vincent De Paul Society has been doing the same from God knows when. And apart from these two service clubs you have many others such as LION’s Club, KIWANI’s Club, and many churches are involved into feeding the poor. Sad that you do not know the many government programs that are in place. But you have the Ministry of Social Transformation, The Board of Guardian and others. As I mention you have the police fellow that started the Soup Kitchen and is doing a wonderful job. You have the Mill Reef Club spending tens of thousands every week. The Government has the PDV Carib program giving debit cards with $215.00 every month. When you compare that with what has been happening in the richest country in the world the USA. You see people in lines that are miles long to go to a food bank. That to me is a disgrace for such a powerful country. But you do not hear Americans blame their government for that. Their politics is so broken that they cannot even pass laws to help the poor. But they sure can give tax cuts to the rich. That to me is sickening. Not a poor country like our trying hard to make ends meet and everyone that can playing their part to assist as much as possible to ensure no one goes to bed hungry.

  3. a little empathy would nice. the pensioners have it extremely difficult. this is not their fault. this problem goes back to a few decades when money from the scheme was plundered by the alp administrations. we know the history even when we don’t want to face it. social security problem is coming now but that train was put on the tracks of destructions decades earlier because it was an illegal cash cow for alp just like other statutory bodies. even a good friend of mine who work at social security for more than 15 years cant get pay on time. alp simply ruinous to the nation’s progress.

  4. If the ‘needy’ are unaware of all these programs, then they might as well not be there for them. I am a senior citizen and at the beginning of this year I applied for the food voucher grant. My application was granted and I received $200.00 in vouchers of four $50.00 vouchers which were valid for two months. When I received the vouchers I was informed of the time that the vouchers were to last me to and was further told that at the end of that time I would be contacted to get my next set of vouchers. I was told, ‘do not call us, we will call you’. Those vouchers expired at the end of March, I used them all and am very thankful for them however, the call back to me has yet to materialize. I have not called them either as I was never furnished with their number. Where I went to get approved is a different locale from where I received the voucher. I am tempted to go and apply again. I do need the assistance. I wonder if the persons who work in these offices understand the demeanment that is felt when persons like myself are forced to run behind them for the little handout.

    • When politician set policies, it is for the public servants to execute. Sadly, they are failing on several fronts and these things need to be brought to the attention of the policy makers. That is why we need to contact our representative. That is what they are there for. We are not begging them. And believe me they would like to know your story so that they can help. But even the NGO’s have many feeding programs. Mill Reef Funds, Jumby Bay Club to name a few. They spend hundreds and thousands of dollars each month to ensure Antiguans and Barbudans do not go hungry. A rich man doesn’t take pride to know he is living in a country where he is so rich while the people are starving. Feeding the poor in Antigua is just not a big effort for them. But one thng they will not make any publicity out of it.

        • That’s what is missing in the public sector. That is why we have little performance in the public sector. Many have tried to address this, but the unions are very powerful and want nothing of this. So, politicians come and go but the public servants stay. Can’t even fire them.
          And Skyewill you of all people know that very well. No performance evaluation for them. If I may take a guess, 40% of public servants do the work for the entire group. Look at what is happening now. Many unvaccinated public servants are at home, and we have not seen the Public Service produce less. Everything is going on as if nothing has happened

          • So it’s an easy fix and your political allies still have no damm clue. You say I should know very well but I don’t roll like that. I do not immerse myself in the BS. Real leaders get it done…PERIOD Take a dump or get out of the latrine. If you can ID the problem and you want to be boss you must address and solve issues. I still waiting for water in 14 days. Where is the PLAN? That’s the job and it ain’t mine.

  5. Have all members of parliament (MP’s, senators, speakers of the house and senate), permanent secretaries, managers of statutory institutions etc; received their salaries from since June?

  6. I feel their pain cuz all Maternity can’t get pay and never miss a beat taking out of the salary so now it’s time to pay back it should not be a issue I have bills to pay etc n the lil money can’t even come yet

  7. How can anyone be so cold as to not empathize? This is not the first time someone have come here and said such things. We even heard of a man who got caught stealing claims it’s because of him not receiving his pension. We have even heard the head of SS say they are HOPING AND PRAYING. The truth they are out of gas, on empty drawing nothing but blanks and you got to ask yourself, what the hell are they good for. After working all your life and now this? They is not acceptable excuse. I personally witness 5 am in the morning old people, limping with their canes on line waiting for the building to open to find out no money deh! Charles is right, you can not justify the output for a lot of stuff when old people are not getting their pension. Anyone who is managing this system knowingly that they have no clue needs to resign.

    • Look at the controversy here. The man went stealing, however when caught he offered to pay for the goods. There is no excuse in my book for stealing. During the 2008/9 crisis you had many beggars in front of the supermarkets. I have helped many to pay for their groceries. But one woman scammed me. She asked me to for money to pay for some baby food. When I gave her the money, I watch her going to the cashier and leaving the items right there and left the supermarket. As I said before there are many programs available to feed the poor in Antigua. People should be made aware of them. But nobody should go hungry in this country. Especially not a healthy strong young man. Car wash paying very good these days and even cutting grass. These guys making more money than people working in office or cashiers in supermarkets.

      • My brother there is a problem with SS and instead of putting together a solutions team they aske pensioners to HOPE and PRAY. They need to be fired for making those statements. We invest in efforts for attract foreign investors and yet we really have never attracted any REAL money that stayed in ANU. The CIU have not filled the gap and we have not created any new industries or developed any serious venues other than the super hotels. All past and present government promote slave type employment and lately we have been using economic zones in a way that do not build equity for the local people. SOLUTION: Change SS model to look more like an INVESTMENT BANK and partner with The development bank and investors and local people with ideas and give them technical support and low interest loans to help create business and incentives to create jobs to a level that will help put 15 – 20,0000 new SS registrants. Somebody convince us that ANTIGUA AND Dubai have similar goals and asperations…NONSENSE last time I checked they got ??,000 local millionaires and an average networth of 300K+ The 3rd richest country in the world, yet we spend millions on marketing with low cost/return ratio. what is the sales goal? Reduce that budget and many others and fund SS. If it performs like an IB. It would create departments that would manage those non performing assets the government gave them. turn those into money making machines by partnering with local people. EMPOWER THE PEOPLE. Pensioners are more important they are who we become.

        • As I told you, my suggestion is to change the Act. But you cannot just get up and do so. It takes lots of studies, lots of political buy inn. And both parties have to be on one page with this. It cannot be a ABLP thing and when UPP is in power it gets changed again. Think of the risk if it were run as an investment bank. They may have gone belly up in the 2008 financial crisis. And as you know many in the USA lost their 401K because of that. Look what happened to our investor’s monies in the CLICO debacle. MBS lost millions. And so did Social Security. But you hear nothing about that. Antigua has no investment vehicles, therefore almost all of our social security monies would have been invested outside of the country. Not good for our economy. I hope you have seen a tip of the problem. It’s local and regional. I have my own pension plan with an American insurance company. I therefore have for years send my monthly payments to the USA. Now I reap the benefits. That is not something the entire country could or can do.

  8. Wait…is that picture correct? Is Social Security renting an office next to…The Larder??? That space can’t be cheap!

        • Hope you are familiar as to how the board of Social Security is setup. The PM only has the Chairmanship and the Director. You have the various Unions and the Employers Federation. They do not answer to the PM. Although the Act gives the Director lots of powers operationally. Government does not set policy for the Board. I have called for the Act to be amended. Government carries final responsibility; however, the day-to-day running is not government’s doing. The Board therefore has a very easy job. They do not carry any Fiduciary responsibility. when things go wrong, they lay all the problems at the government’s feet. When things go well, they take the praise. And like with everything in this country, it comes back to the political alignment of the Board Members. And if you know Antigua politics you know where those members other than the director and the chairman stand.

  9. I am 71 years, I worked for Government for 41 years, and contributed to SS. Now, can’t get pension on time leaving me unable to go to the doctor.A couple weeks ago APUA disconnected my electricity for I was in arrears, I have never had this done before, I never owned. The last payment from SS was in September for August. Gaston do something, say something it is the Seniors who paved the way for the Gaston and his Cabinet now the are walking on us.FATHER GOD, HELP US PLEASE. A big, big group went to Dubi for six month, imagine the Cost for accomodations and per diem. And we have nothing to eat.

    • The problem I have with government workers is as follows:
      They get a non-contributory government pension and next to that they get a Social Security pension. You may say well so be it they contributed. But here is the thing. Their employer never paid in their contributions. If that happens to anyone in the private sector that person would not be eligible for any pension and would have to find redress from their former employer. Whomever that is. We’ve learnt that to date, government has paid all their pensioners on time. So those government pensioners have gotten paid. Just like Harold Lovell and all those politicians that have done two terms. Two pensions and you still hear them complaining. While others have one or sometimes no pension at all. Whom shall I show more empathy to?

  10. From the sideline my dear you beg people they cut style on you and refuse to help the needy. As much as you have family members they will see you struggling andd still no help. Am not saying it is right to steal but if thats how he felt then so be it.He know why he did what he did. All am saying the Government needs to address and fix whats important. The people of this Country are important every single one of them. Do something to help the needy and those who are jobless.Stop using vaccines as a way out to stop citizens from making a dollar. Yall show the people yall dont care one bit.

  11. @Skyewill November 5, 2021 At 5:55 am
    Where is the PLAN?
    You know Skyewill, In my over 50 years as a professional, I have worked with many individuals. And it were the rookies that came into the companies with their computers and sounded learned touting about their plans on paper. And when you ask them to execute the plan they were always dumbfounded. Nothing wrong to plan, but execution is much more important. The UPP had many plans. They had plans for the establishment of a university. The execution was lacking. They had plan to buy WIOC. The execution was lacking. And to date the thing they only tout is having a plan. Means they have not learned a thing from their past. Gaston is an action man. He executes things. Sounds like Papa doesn’t it. Look how he handles Covid 19 protocols. Where he leads others follow. He says vaccine mandate for all government workers, all others follow. Now he said all companies with 5 or more workers get vaccinated. All others follow. Even Biden follows. Funny isn’t it. Small island state in the forefront leading from the front. Water problem is not just a plan. It is a plan in execution. More RO Plant are coming. New pipes are being placed in the ground. Will not happen overnight. But the plan is being executed. Barbuda is becoming the world’s first island run solely on green energy alone. Plan in execution. And I can bet you he is working on solving the Social Security issue. Longterm.

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