Dozens Of People Retire From Ascendant

March 20, 2019

[Written by Don Burgess]

Nearly 13% of Ascendant’s workforce took up a voluntary retirement offer from Ascendant.

A company spokesperson said that 50 people accepted early retirement. In the 2018 year-end financial statement, Ascendant said that BELCO had 258 employees, which was 67% of the staff employed by the Group which also includes AIRCARE, IFM Limited, and iEPC Limited.

The company held a retirement party for the employees on March 8th.

An Ascendant spokesperson said in November 2018, the company made the offer to their staff who were eligible.

The company did not disclose who was eligible, but Bernews understands the package may have been available to employees who had been with Ascendant at least 10 years and were at least 55 years in age.

The spokesperson also did not disclose what the full early retirement was as the “terms and conditions of retirement packages are confidential.”

The spokesperson said this will help the company as “labour is a big component of our costs for BELCO, our regulated business. Through this voluntary programme, the company is able to reduce labour costs which will, over time, assist in the company’s goal of reducing costs for our customers.”

Ascendant has seen its share price double over the last year from $10 to $20 as TFC Utilities attempted a takeover bid last year.

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Comments (16)

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  1. andrew says:

    Sounds like a win win to me.

  2. Town Rat says:

    Why isn’t the government doing the same thing to reduce costs? Seems like a no brainer…

    • Anonymous says:

      The OBA were doing it as that seemed like the only way to get rid of people without them screaming like entitled children. The PLP of course are going to keep all their mates employed for as long as possible. Lets not forget that they want to increase the retirement age as well.

      • Double S says:

        Just been revealed on top of all of the other F&F payments they have just gifted a $50k contract to Inter Island Communications (owned by former PLP MP and includes Magic 12 & Hott 107.5).

    • Martha says:

      They would just fill the posts made vacant so please don’t put that thought into their heads.

    • biggadon says:

      and if they did you would say where are they getting the money for all these new retirees…. cant win with folks…

    • Brad & Chad says:

      Because this government is ridiculously uneducated and only care about themselves and their status.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Well ,the OBA did do it as one of their earliest attempts at cutting costs. I know of at least one person who took it and made out like a bandit and was even able to go on to other full time employment !

    • Black Soil says:

      The PLP is not about cutting costs. They are about taking control and giving more to those whom they like. It’s an abuse of power.

      • MsFedUp says:

        I am so sick of this Government. Absolutely useless. So much for representing all Bermudians. They just make things worse every day. It’s so depressing and I really fear for our future.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      I seem to recall a report that this Government has ADDED over 400 new civil servants to the payroll in the past 2 years.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Seems like a no brainer… There is your answer right there.

  4. Hope says:

    If there isn’t enough work to justify the numbers of staff then there should be redundancies (voluntary or otherwise). Packaging this as retirement is just an easier way out from a HR perspective and focuses the efforts to remove persons who may be older (i.e. age discrimination). These persons no longer have an income (assuming they’ve truly retired) which can create additional social costs over the remainder of their life. If they wish to continue working then they will also find this more challenging than a younger person might.

    It also means that staff who may be older but contributed a lot are on the way out whereas there could be younger staff still working there who do not contribute as much. This can in effect make Belco less efficient and productive and not more. Redundancies however are aimed at those who do not have the skill set to match the job requirements. I think there are always pros/cons in these scenarios and it isn’t necessarily a simple “win win.”

  5. Realist says:

    But when the OBA government was doing this very same thing, the PLP came into power and stopped it. Unbelievable short sightedness.

  6. Ron Lucas says:

    This to me this is an obvious attempt to reduce the cost of labour and operations to make purchase more attractive for an overseas bidder. Short term there may only be a small hit to operating efficiency, however long term the loss of skilled employees may disrupt operations and god knows how the Company will cope if we have a cat 4 hurricane or even a direct hit from a cat 2.

    Hopefully retirees on the transmission and distribution side of the company will be willing to come in and assist to mitigate the reduction in available skilled labour. In the past this has been an important strategy to restoring power.