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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry is doing all it can to ensure that they receive their annual increase in benefits for fiscal year 2014/2015.
  • An increase of 16.67 per cent was approved for the Government pension scheme in January 2013.
  • The Accountant General’s Department Pensions Unit administers and processes pension payments for more than 33,000 former government workers.

Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Wayne Jones, is assuring pensioners that the Ministry is doing all it can to ensure that they receive their annual increase in benefits for fiscal year 2014/2015.

Speaking at the opening of the inaugural Pensioners’ Day 2013 at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on November 22, Mr. Jones said the proposal has been sent to Cabinet for approval.

“Let me reassure that, that little increase in the pension that you are used to on an annual basis has not been forgotten. As recent as Tuesday (November 19), we had our meeting and…I can assure you that the requisite submission is on its way to Cabinet and so you’ll be hearing about your increase and receiving it in short order,” he stated.

He further gave the commitment that the Government is working closely with all its partners to improve the lives of all pensioners and senior citizens. “We will continue to be there for you as a government,” he stated.

An increase of 16.67 per cent was approved for the Government pension scheme in January 2013.

The Accountant General’s Department Pensions Unit administers and processes pension payments for more than 33,000 former government workers.

Mr. Jones said it is estimated that within the next five to 10 years, another 10 per cent of serving officers will be added to the pension bill.

He noted that as such, it is important that the Government is efficient in the way it administers the payment of pensions to ensure that “we don’t attract any unnecessary costs”.

In the meantime, Deputy Accountant General in charge of Corporate Services, Rose McKay, urged all pensioners to provide the AG’s Department with their banking information, so that their pensions can be sent directly to their bank or credit union accounts.

She said this is being done to minimise the hassle experienced by some pensioners, who are forced to travel long distances to collect and change their pension cheques. “We are currently on a drive to prevent you from collecting a cheque and then going to the bank to change that cheque,” she explained.

Mrs. McKay also reminded pensioners that this new system will allow them to avoid paying the fees that are now being charged by some institutions to change cheques.

Accountant General, Carlene Murdock said Pensioners’ Day was organised by the AG’s Department in recognition of the many contributions that government pensioners have made to society.

“We wanted to set aside a special day to recognise and honour our pensioners, as we continue to serve them. We are hoping that at the end of all these activities, we would have communicated with you better and would have helped in some way to make you more aware of what the pension process is all about,” she stated.

Pensioners’ Day 2013 was held under the theme, ‘Serving those who have Served’.

The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) is the nation’s treasury and the operational department within the Ministry of Finance and Planning, charged with facilitating and reporting on the flow of funds within the public sector.