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Gov't to speed up disbursement of public-sector pension benefits

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, says public-sector pensioners can expect more timely disbursement of benefits through implementation of a fully automated and efficient pension benefit claim and payout system.

“We are changing the processes, and as far as the technology is concerned, the Government is implementing software packages – MyHR+ and the Public Employees Pension Administration System (PEPAS),” he said.

Dr Clarke was speaking at a retirement seminar at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

MyHR+is expected to capture a range of employment information for personnel across the public sector, while the PEPAS software will provide for timely processing of pension applications and payment of benefits.

PEPAS will also enable the Government to better prepare forecasts and budgets and control the use of public funds, reduce manual operations throughout the administration process, and enable public servants to view their records.

“The idea behind this is to allow for seamless transition from being employed to the public service and into retirement,” Clarke pointed out.

“All that is going to be required in the near future is that the information that is pulled down from the software system is verified, and your pension payment begins the very next month,” he noted further.

He said that the standard that “we are seeking to establish for those who work in the public service and are moving towards retirement, is that your pension cheque becomes your next cheque after your (final) salary cheque; that is the goal and that is the commitment of the Government of Jamaica to those who work in the public service.

“The implementation is going to start in the next financial year and this reality of which I speak will happen thereafter,” he said.

Last year, the Governmentpassed two critical bills, paving the way for the reform of pension arrangements for employees in the public sector.

They are the Pensions (Public Service) Act of 2017, and the Constitution (Amendment) (Establishment Fund) (Payment of Pensions) Act of 2017.

The retirement seminar, which was held under the theme 'Advancing Better Retirement Outcomes' was organised by the Victoria Mutual Pensions Management Limited in association with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). It sought to raise awareness about the importance of retirement planning.

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