Treasury acts tough on pensions
The government has appointed a task force to clear the backlog at the
Pensions Department in readiness for the coming into effect of a new
pensions law at the beginning of next year.
And in a move aimed sparing the government the heavy penalties
stipulated in the new law, the Treasury has given the Pensions Department
a three-months ultimatum to clear all retirement cases pending before it.
The department must streamline its operations before the end of the
year, Financial Secretary, Joseph Oyula, demands in a circular released
"It is observed that the pensions department currently holds a
large number of files, which must be cleared within the remaining three
The new Pensions Act, 2003 demands that public servants who have
attained retirement age be retained on the payroll until their retirement
benefits are paid.
It further states that unless payment is delayed by a court process,
benefits to dependants be paid within 90 days the upon demise of a public
The law is expected to restrain inordinate delays in the processing of
retirement benefits to public servants that currently characterises the
department. Some retiring public servants have had to wait for over three
years to get their dues.
Operations at the department at one time became so vexatious, forcing
the then Finance permanent secretary, Martin Oduor Otieno, to remind the
officers that they were likely suffer the consequences of their lethargic
operations upon their retirement.
In his circular, Oyula impressed permanent secretaries to facilitate
the processing of required documents to enable the Pensions Department
meet its obligations in accordance with the new law.
"It is important to note that retaining officers in your payrolls
after retirement date will not only interfere with your personal
emoluments budget provision, but the payments will also be
irregular," Oyula says.
All ministries are expected to co-operate in ensuring smooth processing
of pensions in accordance with the procedure laid down by Directorate of
Personnel Management (DPM).
The DPM presents each ministry or department with a list of those
expected to retire in the new financial year.
Ministries are also expected to adhere to DPMís requirement that they
submit papers for an officer retiring upon attainment of compulsory
retirement age of 55 years nine months in advance.
The department further demands that papers for officers leaving the
service on any other grounds be prepared and forwarded to the pensions
department immediately the notice of retirement is received.