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BPSU savings scheme to close

BPSU President Jason Hayward (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Hundreds of workers will see a savings scheme close this year after nearly four decades.

The Bermuda Public Services Union programme has “grown exponentially” since its creation in 1979 but interest on its funds is now “negligible”, members were told.

In a letter, Jason Hayward, the union’s president, said the final contributions for the scheme will be taken in October.

Deductions are taken each month from the wages of those who participate and deposited in a BPSU account until payments from the compound interest issued by the bank are made to members each November.

Around 800 people are enrolled but Mr Hayward wrote: “The current interest income received on saving funds in the scheme are negligible.

“This is due to the global banking and world economies being suppressed by the 2007 sub-prime fiasco, which greatly drove down interest rates.”

He said annual administrative fees, which are usually also covered by the interest, have been waived to allow members to at least break even.

Mr Hayward added: “This has cost the union approximately $33,600 in administrative fees over the past six years.”

A surplus of money has also come about as a number of participants have not cashed cheques and the BPSU has five outstanding audits, from 2013 to 2017.

Mr Hayward said the union recognised that the move would “inconvenience a significant portion” of members but said that “fiscal stewardship is a requirement of good governance”.

He wrote: “The union has been working with the Bermuda Credit Co-op Society to provide a similar service that members can utilise if they wish.

“It should also be noted that savings schemes can be facilitated through any local banking institution.”

Two information sessions will be held on August 28 for members to learn more about what is offered by the credit union and to ask questions.

The hour-long meetings will run from 12.30pm and 5.30pm in the Goodwin C Smith Hall at the Heritage Worship Centre on Dundonald Street in Hamilton.