– 5% of Govt. pensioners not on pay sheet this month
By Rabindra Rooplall
Government pensioners from around the country are peeved and are complaining that after visiting the respective pension outlets they were told that their names were either not on the record to receive pension or that they would have to wait until the Ministry of Finance updates their records.
Sixty-nine-year-old Ruth Chester, of Vigilance, East Coast Demerara, said on Monday last after visiting the Buxton Post Office to receive her pension, that she was shocked when the staff there told her that her life certificate was not submitted, and that her name was not on the list for payment.
The pensioner, who taught as a teacher for 40-years under the Ministry of Education, explained that she had been using her bank account to receive the pension.
However, days would go by and the system for the transfer would be frustrating, since there is no definite date that the pension would be in her account.
She added that money would also being wasted in travelling to enquire.
After deciding that she would take it through the Buxton post office on the very day that she was issued to receive, Ms Chester said she called the post office to enquire about the pension and was told that from last month the system was having problems and the money would have to be returned to the city for security reason.
“It was because of the robbery that they had to send the money to Georgetown…I called Monday and asked if I should go early or go in the afternoon and the post mistress told me that some names are not on the list. Mine was not there.” Ms Chester lamented.
After enquiring why her name was not on the list from the post mistress, Ms Chester said she was told that her life certificate was not submitted. Such a certificate has to be renewed every three months at the Ministry of Finance with an ID card or with a signature of the life certificate at the respective post offices.
She explained that her name was registered at the Buxton Post Office and the names according to the post mistress were sent to the Ministry of Finance.
“Last Monday the post mistress had to pay 40 of us and 10 names were returned, two of the persons on the list died some time ago and the post mistress said the Ministry was constantly informed that the two persons were dead…One by the name of Imelda Barnes died since last year September.”
Questioning how is it possible that two dead persons can receive clearance for pension and living persons are not on the list, Ms Chester said that multiple persons she spoke to at the Ministry of Finance kept asking her how she knew that the life certificate was delivered to the Ministry.
“I told them that I signed it and don’t have to verify when I am speaking to them in person and it is their duty in the Ministry’s pension branch to sort that out, that I cannot be blamed!”
“What will we do this month with our bills, food and other services that we pay for?”
Pensions are managed under the Old Age Pension Programme which is administered by the Director of Social Services at the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security; however, when contact was made with this office the secretary disclosed that a call would be returned to the reporter, but this was not done.
This newspaper tried contacting the pension branch of the Ministry of Finance but failed.
Officials from the General Post Office (GPO) disclosed that the various post offices pensioners were unable to receive their pension because the Ministry of Finance which is supposed to issue life certificate to the post offices has been infrequently and 75 per cent of pensioners were not on the pay sheet.
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