Employees Alliance: PREPA workers who move to LUMA won’t be able to contribute to Retirement System
By John McPhaul
Contrary to what the island government says, employees who move to LUMA Energy will not be able to contribute to the Retirement System, the Alliance of Active and Retired Employees of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) said Thursday.
“If an employee of PREPA chooses to leave for LUMA, he/she will not be able to make contributions to the Retirement System. According to the document sent yesterday by the Board of Trustees of the Retirement System, the Retirement System may not allow private LUMA employees to make contributions, due to federal provisions,” said Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, spokesperson for the Alliance and president of PREPA’s main union, the Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union. “This proves again that Governor Pedro Pierlusi lies to the country and to PREPA employees saying that if they move to LUMA they can make contributions to their retirement.”
Figueroa Jaramillo added that according to the document sent to PREPA employees, the provisions of Laws 29 of 2009 and 120 of 2018 regarding the inclusion of private sector employees are invalid, as they collide with federal field powers.
“Federal law would prevent the current laws of Puerto Rico from being applied. This, in turn, will prevent the Retirement System from receiving contributions from private employees who are going to work with LUMA,” he said. “This is totally different from what the government says, ensuring that with LUMA the contributions will be maintained. This report from the trustees shows that the governor continues to lie.”
Johnny Rodríguez, the spokesman for the Alliance and president of the Retirees Association, likewise raised a red flag. He said the document warns that the contract with LUMA will increase the actuarial deficit of the Retirement System, which puts at risk the pensions of the 18,000 members between active and retired.
“The outlook for the Retirement System is devastating, since the contract with LUMA will significantly reduce the Retirement System’s ability to pay the pensions that are paid now and those that will be paid in the future to the workers of the Electric Power Authority retirement system,” Rodríguez said.