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Ex-weather chief’s pension application revoked

Chan revoked Fong’s pension announcement request as he had not applied to retire at least 90 days in advance as required by public service regulations. The Pension Fund is under Chan’s portfolio. 

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan has confirmed that the Pension Fund (FP) has returned the retirement application of former Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) Director Fong Soi Kun to the weather bureau.

Chan revoked Fong’s pension announcement request as he had not applied to retire at least 90 days in advance as required by public service regulations. The Pension Fund is under Chan’s portfolio.

The day after Typhoon Hato pummelled Macau on August 23 and killed 10, Chief Executive Chui Sai On accepted Fong’s resignation over his handling of Hato’s warning signals. Fong submitted his resignation for “personal reasons”. Fong also applied to retire when he handed Chui his resignation.

An announcement published in the Official Gazette last Wednesday stated that Fong will be paid a monthly pension of 890 salary points (equivalent to MOP 73,870) after he had applied to retire, based on public service regulations – the Macau Public Administration Staff Statute promulgated in the late 1980s.

The announcement about Fong getting the hefty pension, which Chan approved on September 13, sparked a great deal of public anger.

According to the Macau Post Daily, the Pension Fund said in a statement on Friday that Chan earlier that day annulled the pension announcement because Fong had not applied to retire at least 90 days in advance – as required by Clause 2 of Article 263 in the statute.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Chan said that a public servant can apply to retire and submit the application to the entity where she
or he works, if they meet the criteria to retire.

Chan said that after the respective government entity has approved the public servant’s retirement application, it will then submit the application to the Pension Fund so that the pension the applicant will receive can be calculated.

Chan pointed out that the announcement published in the gazette last Wednesday was issued by the Pension Fund and stated the amount of the pension Fong would receive based on the calculation methods listed in the Macau Public Administration Staff Statute.

Chan said that she decided to revoke Fong’s pension announcement because Fong’s retirement application should have been handled in accordance with the 90-day requirement.

Chan said that therefore the Pension Fund has returned Fong’s retirement application to the weather bureau.

When asked by the media why she initially approved Fong’s pension, Chan replied that it’s not the Pension Fund which approves retirement applications submitted by public servants, instead such applications are, according to Chan, approved by the government entities where the public servants work, adding that the fund, which is responsible for calculating applicants’ pensions, handles the applications within 30 days after receiving them from the respective entities.

The announcement published in the gazette last Wednesday stated that Fong’s retirement application was in line with Item A of Clause 1 of Article 263 in the statute, which states that a public servant can “take voluntary retirement” after he or she has worked in the public administration for at least 30 years and they have reached the age of 55.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

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