JIS News

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has made available $500 million to provide increases for Government pensioners in 2009/10.
A Ministry Paper (Number 126/09) tabled by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw, in the House of Representatives on December 15, says that $462.3 million is for Government Pensioners paid by the Accountant General, while the other $37.6 million is for pensioners paid by Local Government Authorities and Statutory Bodies.
According to the Ministry Paper, based on its assessments and discussions with the Jamaican Government Pensioners Association, it was agreed that the amount would ensure that retirees with a minimum 20 years service receive minimum pension at a rate above the minimum wage.
The model outlined was follows:
(i) Increases to range from $1,350 per month for pensioners receiving $50,000 and over per month, to $2,075 per month for pensioners receiving under $30,000 per month;
(ii) An increase of the current minimum pension from $8,000 per month to $15,000 per month for retirees with pensionable service between 10 and 20 years, and from $12,000 per month to $19,000 per month for retirees with pensionable service of 20 years or more.
These proposals have taken into consideration all pensioners who were: in retirement for at least 21/2 years as at July 1, 2009; at least 55 years of age, but waived for persons retired on the ground of ill-health; and widows/widowers and dependants in receipt of pension prior to July 1, 2009.
The minimum pension for persons aged 55 years and over and those pensioners who retired due to ill-health will be increased as follows: (a) Persons who served 10-20 years- $180,000 per year, up from $96,000 per year; (b) Persons who served 20 years or more- $228,000 a year up from $144,000 a year.
Approximately 22,000, or 86%, of the 25,370 pensioners paid by the Accountant General’s Department will receive increases. There are approximately 3,000 pensioners paid by other agencies. The increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2009.

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