While speaking at the Victoria Mutual Pensions Management Retirement Seminar held in association with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica at the Spanish Court Hotel on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Honourable Nigel Clarke announced the Government of Jamaica's goal of processing public pension payments within one month of the retirement of the respective government employee.
The Minister stated that, "Under the new Public Pension System the aim of the GOJ is for public pensions to be processed within one month instead of over one year as has historically been the case. When you retire from Government Service your last pay cheque must be followed by your first pension cheque the very next month. It will take some time to get there but that is our goal."
The Minister said that this goal would be achievable through the efficiency gains from having a single Pensions (Public Service) Act governing public sector pensions and through the implementation of new Public Employees Pension Administration System (PEPAS) in the next financial year.
Minister Clarke noted that the previous public pension system required navigation of over thirty (30) separate pieces of legislation, which resulted in significant delays in the processing of pension payments. Additionally, without the appropriate software and systems, verification of retirement parameters such as length of service at various ministries, departments and agencies over the course of a long public service career has been manual and time consuming. In addition, he highlighted that the continued implementation of MyHR Plus – an integrated HR and Payroll System – since January 2018 and the Public Employees Pension Administration System (PEPAS) will lead to significant improvements in the administration and execution of the processing of pensions for retired government employees.
Dr. Clarke also noted the progress of the second phase of Private Sector Pension Reform. The first phase which involved the enactment of legislation for the overall supervision of the private pension system was completed with the enactment of the Pensions (Superannuation Funds and Retirement Scheme) Act in 2004, with effect March 2005. The second phase which seeks to address, among other things, vesting, portability of pensions, and indexation is ongoing. He said, "We have a first draft of the amendment bill that is being reviewed by the regulatory authorities and other technocrats. It is our intention to bring this bill to parliament within the 2019/20 financial year."
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet