Retiring public servants will receive their pension within 90 days after exiting from service if a plan by the Pensions Department in the Treasury and Planning Ministry to fast-track the processing of pension materializes.
Already, the department has deployed its officers at the Teachers Service Commission and Vigilance House to help process pension for retiring teachers and police officers and the same is expected to be replicated at the Headquarters of all ministries, officials have said.
This, the officials said, will help eliminate cartels that have been swindling retiring officers of their hard-earned pension money on the guise that they (cartels) were in a position to help retired public servants to get their pension fast.
Principal Pensions Officers Douglas Asanyo and Anna Kitole at the same time dismissed claims that there were cartels in the Pensions Department, noting that many retiring public servants fell in the hands of fraudsters due to ignorance.
The two were speaking in Malindi Wednesday during a sensitization workshop for public servants on the Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS), a contributory pension scheme for public servants in which members contribute 7.5 percent of their basic salaries while their employers contribute 15 percent.
Mr. Asanyo acknowledged that there had been delays in the processing of pension under the old scheme, but laid the blame on the retirees, who he said failed to submit documents necessary for the processing of their final dues.
“We have a service charter that says that upon a member’s exit, their benefits are paid within 90 days and we are looking forward to a time when, soon, very soon; with now the introduction of a new system within the pension sector, that a member will exit the civil service from a salary to a payment of pension the next month without any break in the earnings,” he said.
He noted that the Head of Public Service had issued a circular that members of the public service are issued with a notice of retirement a year to retirement so that they can plan accordingly and put their records in order and processing begins immediately so that at the end of that exit they are able to access their retirement benefits early enough.
He said despite employees of the civil service being issued with a notice of retirement one year to retirement, many fail to submit required documents, leading to delays.
This, he said, exposed them to fraudsters who usually claim to have connections that would help fast-track their pensions, but in reality, such people are not known in the Pensions Department.
Mr. Asanyo said that the government introduced the contributory scheme, moving away from the non-contributory scheme that has been in existence since independence where members are able to contribute to boost their retirement savings so that they can exit at any given time with their benefits.
The new scheme is being administered by the PSSS Board of Trustees with representation from the Union of Kenya Civil Servants, the Kenya National Union of Teachers, and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers.
Ms. Kitole echoed Mr. Asanyo’s sentiments, noting that there were reforms in place to ensure that pensions are paid within a short period and the exercise had been devolved to minimize infiltration by cartels.
“The department has deployed officers at the Teachers Service Commission and Vigilance House to help prepare the pensions of retiring teachers and police officers and we hope that this will be replicated in all ministries at headquarters,” she said.
She said once this is put in place, no retiring officer will have to travel to Nairobi to follow up on their pension since everything will have been done earlier.
Magarini Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) John Thiong’o advised public servants to prepare for retirement the first day they join the service and provide the necessary documents early enough for their pension to be processed in time.
By Emmanuel Masha, Abigael Muli and Sironik Waithera