An estimated 3, 400 pensioners who are homebound will have their pensions delivered to them at home and Western Union and MoneyGram could be used to make pension payments, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr Vindhya Persaud announced Monday.
The initiatives are especially meant to erase difficulties faced in collecting pensions during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. There are over 59,400 persons who receive pensions on a monthly basis.
If a pensioner doesn’t collect their payments in three months, they are usually required to visit the Ministry’s offices for verification purposes; but that process is being waived so that even if pensioners were not able to collect their payments since January they can still do so without the need to visit the Ministry’s office.
Pension payments are mostly made at post offices, but congestion and lack of adequate facilities have been major concerns. The Minister hopes that providing more venues for pension payments will help to address these problems.
Minister Persaud, during a press conference held virtually, said the discussions with the money payment agencies will begin this week with the intention of having them serve as payment points for pensions.
Dr Persaud said that her Ministry will be partnering with the Ministry of Local Government to determine how the regional government system can be used to make direct payments to pensioners. There will be mobile units and more staff so that persons can’t travel long distances to collect their pensioners in hinterland regions.
The alphabetical system, using surnames/last names, will continue to be used for pensioners to receive their payments at the Post Offices during the first five payment days of the month at Post Offices in Region 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10.
She encouraged those who are able to sign up to receive their pensions through the banking system, where their payments will be remitted directly into their bank accounts.