Categorized | National News

BPL Pays Out $56 Million

Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) voluntary separation packages (VSEP) is costing the government a pretty penny. 

This according to Works Minister, Desmond Bannister,  as of June 30th, 2018, the corporation paid out $56 million.

According to Mr. Bannister, at the end of the exercise, that figure would have soared to $70.4 million.

Payouts included $2.1 million for accrued vacation; $174 plus thousand for Christmas bonuses; over $252,000 for incentive bonus; $187,000 for retraining assistance; $939,000 for medical contributions; and $31.7 million for severance pay, giving a total of $35.4 million. 

The Minister speaking in  the House of Assembly yesterday said,  “the other costs include: the  cost of pension gratuity $1,741,006; the total cost of pension lump sum of 25 per cent; $4,613,395.57, total cost of pension lump sum at 50 percent; $28, 567,802 total payments that was made by the pension fund Ansbacher that was $34,922,203. 

“This money is to be paid out essentially over a period of time,” said Mr. Bannister.

According to the minister, this VSEP exercise was funded from the pension fund administrator as well as the funds BPL recently secured.

“A total of $75million dollars was received in two tranches, less bank fees, legal costs and stamp tax.

“That leaves the current loan balances at $200,011, and $35 million respectively.”

According to Minister Bannister, of the corporation’s 1,038 employees, 314 applications were received and approved. 

Separation was spread out to ensure the company’s efficiency was not negatively impacted. 

Two hundred and nineteen applicants left on June 30th and eight on July 1st. 

Another eight will sever ties with the company in September, four in October, seven in November and 39 in December.

According to the Minister, one applicant was approved to leave March 2019, 12 that June and four in December.

Seven others will part ways with the company in June 2020. 

“It should be noted  that 59 of the 95 employees who were retained beyond June 30, will be retained as employees with existing benefits while 36 of them will be retained on contracts,” he said.

“BPL made a determination that everyone who wanted to leave should have the opportunity to do so.

“Hence, many senior employees decided to accept the VSEP. 

“It is, therefore, expected that 60 of the positions will need to be replaced as contracted and delayed applicants exit the organization over the next two years. 

“Among these positions will be posts for senior leadership in many departments. 

“A Bahamian,  Patrick Rollins has now been appointed to fill the post of Executive Director, a position that was previously held by Mr. Deepak Bhatnagar,”  Mr. Bannister said.

Mr. Bhatnagar resigned from the company late last year, along with its former Chief Financial Officer, Cecile Green and Human Resources Director, Marisa Mason Smith.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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