Special Early Retirement Offers Many Opportunities for Public-Sector Employees

Photo: Camar Getfield Deputy Financial Secretary, Strategic Human Resource Management, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Wayne Jones, speaking at a Think Tank held at the JIS’s head office in Kingston recently.

Story Highlights

  • The Government’s Special Early Retirement Plan (SERP) is an opportunity for public-sector employees to pursue their passion.
  • Under SERP, public servants, ages 50 to 59 will be eligible for early retirement through application to the Public Service Commission.
  • Deputy Financial Secretary, Strategic Human Resource Management, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Wayne Jones, notes that the incentivised arrangement targeting this specific group of persons is strictly voluntary, and is intended to be a “win-win”.

The Government’s Special Early Retirement Plan (SERP) is an opportunity for public-sector employees to pursue their passion.

This could include starting a business, travelling or spending more time with loved ones.

Under SERP, public servants, ages 50 to 59 will be eligible for early retirement through application to the Public Service Commission.

Deputy Financial Secretary, Strategic Human Resource Management, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Wayne Jones, notes that the incentivised arrangement targeting this specific group of persons is strictly voluntary, and is intended to be a “win-win”.

He says it is an opportunity for employees to “make a humane transition from where they are in their own lives to somewhere else they might have the desire to be”.

“This will allow some workers to realise some potential that had been asleep for a long time. They may have wanted the opportunity to do something that is more fulfilling and satisfying,” he opines.

“Some people are at a point of their life journey where they need to make a decision as to where they could go; this provides an opportunity for them to retire with an incentive,” Mr. Jones adds.

He notes that SERP will allow for faster and smoother processing of pension benefits.

Persons will receive their pension four months after they have retired, providing that all the relevant documents have been processed.

“We have included an incentive of two weeks’ pay for every year of employment, up to a maximum of one year’s salary, as well as pay for vacation leave not taken up to the time of retirement,” Mr. Jones explains.

The Deputy Financial Secretary gives an example of someone working for approximately 25 years at a Ministry earning an annual gross salary of $1.6 million, with no allowance, no loans or indebtedness to the Government, with an accumulation of 40 days’ vacation leave.

He outlines that under SERP this person would retire April 2018, and will receive as his incentive payment $1.54 million, plus $241,000 for the outstanding vacation, noting that this is tax-free.

He notes, however, that each case would need to be assessed individually.

“We encourage public-sector employees who fall within the age cohort to go to their human resources department with enquiries,” he says.

Applications for the SERP opened on January 2 and will close on Friday, February 16, 2018.

Interested applicants must have been vested with 10 years’ service, with at least one permanent appointment in a pensionable post during this period.

For further information persons may email serp2017@mof.gov.jm, or visit the webpage at mof.gov.jm/serp.

JIS Social