A deferred pension applies to someone who has stopped paying into a state pension scheme but is not yet retired, so continues working either part or full time. The individual can choose to keep their benefits in the scheme and receive their pension income later at a more advantageous rate.

The UK adopted this back in 1948 but in Guernsey, deferred pensions do not exist - you have to start receiving your States’ pension when you reach the statutory age.

The CGi would like this to change. We want the States to offer local employees the option not to take their pension at the usual age but at a time when it suits the individual so they accrue financial benefits.

With a forecast reduction in working population, and increase in the number of Islanders retiring, this would fit with the 'Longer Working Lives' Policy and recommendations adopted by the States earlier this year.

We are to send Federation members a short online survey for their views. The results will be incorporated into our discussions with Social Security.

The relaunch of Skills Guernsey is welcomed by the CGi.

We have written to the Committee for Economic Development on these two initiatives:

• The launch of digital internships focussing on digital skills. The CGi would be willing to coordinate and run a database of companies and students (within the restrictions of GDPR) to help match youngsters and employers willing to ‘support local.’

• The return of  ‘Industry Weeks’, run previously by Tony Brassell, CGi member, in his time previously at Commerce and Employment. Students spend time at different organisations each day so they can start to understand the needs of employers.

If members have thoughts and views, please email Clive on enquiry@thecgi.net

The past couple of months have been busy so we can update you on developments within the CGi.

To kick start Guernsey’s economy, we need more people in employment which is achievable through retraining, working past retirement age, bringing in the right labour to fill numerous vacancies, training up youngsters to be better equipped to start work  and other initiatives such as the introduction of deferred pensions.

We have held positive discussions with local actuaries to discuss how the island could introduce deferred pensions and the resultant benefits for the States and local employees. We are now to meet with Social Security and will issue a short survey for members to complete.

Last month, Simon Stone, Director of Procurement at the States gave a very interesting presentation to the committee. Simon has a clear mandate to streamline, professionalise and reduce the costs and has already made savings for the States of £3 - £4 million in just one year.

Skills Guernsey is being reborn and we have been talking to the Committee for Economic Development and providing feedback as well as suggesting new initiatives the Island should follow.

Finally, our social visit and tour at the power station in September was very interesting and informative, so thank you to Sally-Anne David, CGi committee member and Director at Guernsey Electricity, for organising that for us.

Clive McMinn
Chairman

TWENTY members of the CGi recently visited Guernsey Electricity for an interesting and very informative tour of the power station at Northside.

We were guided around the control centre and three of the stations, including the newest Engine 3D, by Asset Controller, Lloyd Le Page.

Guernsey Electricity’s Chief Operating Officer Sally-Ann David then gave a presentation about the future of electricity and the changing energy industry, our future tariff objectives, energy policy and electric vehicles.

The two hour event finished with snacks and drinks, courtesy of Guernsey Electricity.

GUERNSEY Electricity has been providing electricity to the island for over 100 years.

Until 2001 all electricity was generated on-island but completion of a cable link to France via Jersey has given the opportunity to import units from the European Grid in conjunction with on-island generation.  The change has brought significant environmental benefits for the Island.

Guernsey Electricity is committed to providing a safe, stable, value-for-money energy supply, while maintaining a responsible attitude towards the environment.

We have linked up to offer CGi members with a tour and social event at the St Sampson's facilities on Tuesday 18 September. This provides a great opportunity to view the power station and  pose questions to the senior officials at Guernsey Electricity.

4:00pm – 5:00pm – Tour of the power station with Lloyd Le Page, Asset Controller.
5:00pm – 5:30pm – Discussion and Q&A on the future of the energy market.
5:30pm – 6:00pm – Drinks & Nibbles (sandwiches, cakes, fruit)

To reserve your place, please email Ian at enquiry@thecgi.net

BACK in June, I highlighted our ongoing concerns with the Population Management Legislation. We therefore resumed our campaign privately with senior politicians and civil servants and one of our committee sits on the Tourism sub-committee and is able to present the CGi’s views at this forum.

Our other two themes are States procurement and deferred pensions. Simon Steele, the Director of Procurement at the States is presenting to the committee in September on the procurement transformation programme so we will update members on the outcome of this meeting.

On deferred pensions, Guernsey is out of sync with the UK in that it does not offer an ability to defer the state pension. There are benefits for the States and to individuals who do not wish to draw their pension at the statutory retirement age so we are to explore this with a local actuarial firm and the States itself.

I am delighted to confirm that our social event and tour takes place on 18 September at Guernsey Electricity’s offices. Organised through Sally-Anne David, committee member and GEL director, the event will include a tour of the power station discuss and Q&A on the future of the energy market, followed by drinks and nibbles. Email enquiry@thecgi.net to secure your place.

The CGi remains resolutely determined to play its part in kick-starting Guernsey’s economy and continues to engage with the key decision makers on the island. The work and dialogue simply does not stop.

ONE topic that has been top of mind over recent months is GDPR.

Have you all taken steps to ensure compliance with our local laws that mirror the EU’s legislation?

We are in regular touch with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and if members are encountering issues we would be happy to discuss with the Commissioner and provide support and general advice to members on compliance. Please feel free to email enquiry@thecgi.net

THE CGi really wants to play a part in kick-starting Guernsey’s economy and continues to engage with the key decision makers on the island. We regularly meet with senior civil servants and politicians from the Chief Minister down and discussions have included the Population Management Law (PML), incentives for start-up and local businesses, deferred pensions along with and green energy and renewables.

The responses have been encouraging and the dialogue will not stop. It was also positive to see Deputy Charles Parkinson attend our AGM in March and field questions on a wide range of topics.

The PML is still a barrier to local companies expanding so we are to restart our campaign with two aims – the short term (9 months on/three months off) licences to return without the five year maximum term and the classification of longer term licences to include essential roles other than those seem to suit the finance industry.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to reply to feedback on the new Economic Vision Strategy. We compiled the responses received and sent them on to Steve Wakelin, the States’ Chief Strategy & Policy Officer, for consideration prior to the States’ Debate on the Strategy earlier this month.

The speaker at our rescheduled AGM on Tuesday 13 March needed little introduction.

Deputy Charles Parkinson has recently taken on one of the leading roles in the States Assembly, as President of the Economic Development Committee, and was keen to engage with business groups and industry. We too want to work with and support Deputy Parkinson and were grateful for his time, and that of Steve Wakelin, Head of Strategy in the States of Guernsey, who also attended.

Deputy Parkinson began by outlining that his views were very much aligned with the CGi in wanting to diversify Guernsey’s economy and lessen the Island’s dependency on finance.

He talked of the need for a greater vision for Guernsey, and in particular, the renewable energy project, proposed East coast development (the Seafront Enhancement Area, or SEA) and opportunities in data processing, cyber security and secure data storage and location.

Members were keen to ask Deputy Parkinson his views on the Population Management Law, which the CGi has campaigned for changes over the past year, and the President confirmed that a review, chaired by Chief Minister St Pier, had been underway. There was call for liberalisation of the law, even its abolishment completely, but Deputy Parkinson felt that the latter was step too far at this stage. It is likely a compromise would be reached in the coming months.

Deputy Parkinson talked in some depth of air and sea connectivity and told the audience that some progress had already been made. Eurowings, Loganair and another charter airline were due to commence flights this Summer and the Manche Iles Express inter-island ferry service was a promising start with more work required to improve links. Condor Ferries was likely to be sold by its current owner and Deputy Parkinson said the company was keeping him informed.

The Economic Vision Paper is being revised and needs high level objectives, which will focus on what we want the Island to look like in 10 years’ time. Deputy Parkinson also touched on a ‘Red Tape Audit’ and welcomed the CGi’s input in wanting to see barriers to new business removed and in particular called for evidence to show what impediments existed. The better the evidence, the stronger the case for their removal, he said.

Questions from the audience followed on the Population Management Law, notably if Brexit may make the new legislation redundant and whether deferred pensions could be introduced in Guernsey (the UK introduced these after the Second World War). Guernsey is well placed for such legislation – smaller working population and a States’ deficit but Deputy Parkinson advised there is no current appetite for its introduction.

The President talked of the need to increase Guernsey’s working population and said that there had been some improvement lately, as the numbers working had increased through the longer working lives campaign. The Brexit uncertainty in the UK was resulting in more people wanting to relocate to Guernsey.

The meeting finished with a social function and networking.

OUR rescheduled AGM takes place between 6 – 7pm on Wednesday 13th March in the Reading Room at Les Cotils Conference Centre. It will be followed by our Social Function to which members, colleagues and possible new members are invited.

At the meeting, Clive will provide an overview of the work undertaken during the past 12 months, a review of our financial position and there will follow an election and re-election of committee members.

Deputy Charles Parkinson, the newly elected President of the Committee for Economic Development, will be on hand at 18:45 to answer any questions in relation to the Population Management Law. He is also happy to discuss any matter that is of concern or interest to members.

Dr Andy Sloane, the Director of Financial Stability and International Policy Advisor at the GFSC will provide his thoughts on Guernsey’s economy today. He is currently on a sixth month secondment to Guernsey Finance with a brief to develop and deliver a policy framework and development strategy.

There will be a networking opportunity to meet other members with drinks and nibbles available at the end of the AGM.

We would be grateful if you could advise how many of you will attend so we can cater accordingly.