Please extend the life certificate waiver, Minister

Letters to the Editor

Please extend the life certificate waiver, Minister

Friday, June 26, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Pensioners in Jamaica have to present a physical life certificate proving their eligibility to receive their pensions.

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Finance, and appropriately so, suspended this requirement. It had been taking longer for regular mail deliveries to happen and movement of people was restricted.

As at the end of June, though, this waiver of the need to submit a physical life certificate comes to an end.

But the disruption to mail services has not been totally resolved as at now, and the risks associated with moving around still remains. Our seniors are in that vulnerable group and are advised to limit their exposure.

I am hereby requesting that the minister of finance extend the waiver of the requirement to present a physical life certificate in support of pension payouts for a further three months at this time. We are not back to normal as yet, and there ought not to be any disruption to the disbursement of pension funds to our seniors, many of whom rely on these monthly payments.

I am also suggesting that the ministry moves towards digitising this part of the process. Why do we still need to submit physical documents in 2020? I am sure there are safeguards that can be put in place to protect the integrity of the system while leveraging the efficiency of electronic transactions.

Please move quickly to fix this, Minister. June is coming to an end and our seniors need to get their pensions.

Kelly McIntosh

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