I write in response to a letter by Mr. Clive Christian which appeared in the Friday, 30th October, issue of your newspaper and titled ‘Seamen’s pension in danger’.
In this letter, he states that seamen’s ‘pensions’ may be stopped for reason which they ‘may not even know’. Firstly, the $550 per month, which seamen among others receive, is not a pension. It is an ex-gratia benefit or grant.
It is correct to say, and this is rightfully so, that seamen who live abroad do not qualify for this benefit. In the conditions listed, it is stated in Section 1 (v) that ‘A Caymanian Seafarer or his surviving spouse, must be domiciled in the Cayman Islands to qualify for this benefit.’
I have also been advised that if seamen or their surviving spouses find it necessary to be abroad for an extended period of time then the relevant department should be notified and they will be advised of the course of action to take.
Hopefully this will clear up any misconception which Mr. Christian’s letter may have caused.
Consuelo Ebanks – Public Relations Officer