Pensioners to get their money sooner

BY HG HELPS
Editor-at-Large
helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, April 07, 2019

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Deputy Financial Secretary Wayne Jones has disclosed that the Government has found a way to make pension payment for retirees easier to access.

Jones, who was addressing the Recognition Ceremony in honour of retirees of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries recently, said that the days of retirees waiting months and years to get their pension payment were over.

“It is a fact that our employees retire from public service not because they have expired, but because the laws of our land dictate that the age of 60 is when our tour of duty should end. But the powers that be have now recognised that life expectancy has increased over the past few decades, and this, my colleagues, has led to the recent amendments to the legislation to adjust the retirement age to 65.

“This is a signal that as you exit the public service, your potentials remain endless. In so doing, it is important that you continue to enjoy economic freedom. So, within a few months, with the use of technology, you can expect to receive your pension into your bank account within one month of your exit,” Jones said to loud applause.

Jones urged retirees gathered at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew that although the public service was parting company with some of its “brightest minds” and “valuable assets”, he stressed that life no longer begins at age 40, and implored the former Government employees to continue to use their skills to the benefit of the nation.

“There is no good reason why a person who quits active public service at any age — 60 or even 65 — should as they say be 'put out to pasture'. In our midst is an accumulation of hundreds of years of knowledge and expertise in all areas of life. Of what further value are these to our country? None, I submit, if we do not tap into them. My suggestion is that you should be allowed to pass on this reservoir of knowledge to the generations behind you,” Jones told the retirees.

He urged them to indulge in various activities, such as writing books, manuals and other kinds of publications that can prove beneficial and serve as “instructional material” for younger people.

Working with community outreach programmes, church groups, the Government Pensioners' Association, and service clubs were some of the avenues that Jones suggested the retirees could target their energies.

Improving the art of penmanship and weeding out grammatical and other errors in office correspondences was another way that Jones told the now pensioners that they could concentrate their skills on.

Also, assisting young civil servants with workplace ethics and decorum could also be done by the retirees, Jones said, in improving the civil service.

“Now that you are approaching the best phase of your life, my charge to you is to get out of the house, go into the community, engage the youngsters on the corner and on the play field,” Jones urged the 43 retirees recognised.

“They might reject you at first, but few of us fall in love at first sight anyway, and I am told that it is the one who perseveres who usually enjoys a longer relationship; so persevere with the young ones … we owe it to them … and believe it or not … they are looking to you for guidance.

“In all this, now is the time to live your dreams … whatever those dreams are … it is your time,” Jones insisted of the retirees.

Among the retirees were Vivian Ricketts who served 41 years, Clovis Bryan, Christopher Pinnock and Derick Spence who put in 40 years each, Clifton Colthirst, 38 years; Paulette Bruce Williams, Alton Beharie and Trevor “Trouba” Codner who had 37 years of service under their belts.


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