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Pensioners get reprieve

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The new realities birthed by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the State waiving certain requirements for thousands of government pensioners.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, in closing the 2020-21 Budget Debate at Gordon House in downtown Kingston yesterday, said the Administration will be suspending the requirement for proof of Life Certificates for pensioners as at April 20 this year.

“There are tens of thousands of retirees in the Government's pension system who receive pension payments electronically each month. To continue to be in receipt of these payments pensioners are required to present proof of Life Certificates, which would require a justice of the peace's signature, and presenting these certificates to the Office of the Accountant General. At this time we wish to advise pensioners that we will suspend the requirement for Life Certificates as at April 20, 2020 for payment in June 2020,” Clarke told Parliament yesterday.

As such he said the payment in June will be made automatically on the basis of the last Life Certificate on hand, without the need for a renewal in April.

In the meantime, the finance minister said up to June 30 this year, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) will facilitate the issuing of one-off or single-use Tax Compliance Certificates to businesses who may fall into non-compliance over the period to June 30.

“There will be no new summonses issued, court proceedings or enforcement action for non-compliance until after June 30. However, reminders and notices will continue to be generated. Businesses are in crisis mode and should not be distracted from core activities and have to divert resources to enforcement matters during this critical period,” he noted.

— Alicia Dunkley-Willis