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Accountant General guides pension process

TELL Claudienne

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Dear Claudienne,

Please advise me how to begin the process of applying for pension benefits which I believe are owed to me.

I live in the USA. In November 2016 I contacted the Accountant General's Department (AGD) and I also tried to reach the Ministry of Finance, but made no progress.

I sent the following e-mail to the AGD on 18/11/2016 @ 3.05 pm:

“Good afternoon to everyone at The Accountant General's Department. Earlier today I listened to one of your representatives on a Nationwide Radio programme. I found the discourse to be very informative and am now asking for your assistance on a personal matter.

This is my situation: I celebrated my 65th birthday on September 25, 2016, and believe that I'm now eligible for some form of pension for my many years of working and making all the necessary statutory contributions.

My employment cycle in Jamaica started in 1972 and ended in 1985. I first started

out at (1) The Jamaica Railway Corporation, and then moved on to the following employers:(2) Paul Goldson & Company (Chartered Accountants), (3) The Airports Authority of Jamaica, (4) National Continental Foods, (5) Industrial Chemical Company, (6) Industrial Gases Ltd, and finally (7) The Social Development Commission.

Now that I have reached retirement age, I would like to get information about any benefits that would have accrued to me. Please find below my personal data — that is, my full name; date of birth; NIS number; home phone; mobile phone; e-mail address.”

The AGD did not reply, and I do not know what else to do. I would appreciate your help in this matter.


Dear JE,

Tell Claudienne has been in communication with the Acting Director, Communication and Customer Relations at the AGD, about your request for information re pension benefits.

We received the following response from the AGD:

“Based on the organisations where JE indicated he has worked, the only one for which we would pay a pension is that of the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC). The other entities outlined would either have their own Pension Scheme, or he may be eligible for a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pension. My recommendation to him is to make contact with JRC to find out if he is eligible for a pension based on the number of years served, and to also contact NIS to ascertain the process necessary to apply for his pension.

“Please note that we only pay pensions to Central Government employees.

“There are Acts that govern each entity in terms of who is eligible for a pension. Eligibility looks at but is not limited to the number of years served, and whether the person was appointed.

“We do not know the specifics for his tenure at the JRC, so he needs to make contact with them. The number I obtained for JRC on the internet is 754-2584, and for NIS the number is 929-7144.

“I do hope the information provided was sufficient. If there is any way we can provide further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

From the e-mail you sent Tell Claudienne on Monday September 25, 2017, we see that the AG has now contacted you. Your e-mail stated: “Thank you very much for helping me to obtain a sensible response. Now I fully understand the procedure and will follow her recommendation. Some time ago, I tried to contact the JRC on a web address I found online and got this response, “the webpage cannot be found.” I will try again this time by utilising the telephone method. Lastly, I submitted an email request to the NIS last week and am patiently awaiting their reply. In that email, I merely asked to be advised on how to initiate a pension request.

Thanks again for coming to the rescue of yet another humble citizen of Jamaica.”

Tell Claudienne will try to find out the procedure to apply for NIS benefits and let you know. We wish you all the best.