- 1.Pension Reforms to serve Ugandans better
The Ministry of Public Service has initiated a number of reforms aimed at ensuring that civil servants and pensioners receive their due benefits in a timely fashion. The Ministry is looking at a time when one retires from the civil service and immediately starts enjoying their benefits. The reforms are expected to significantly help Government to cut costs by ensuring that only those eligible are able to enjoy the benefits.
Among the reforms initiated is the decentralization of pension management where the responsibility of processing and payment of pension and gratuity was shifted from the Ministry of Public Service to the respective votes of retirement. This was done to ease and quicken the processing of payments. Also, the linkage of the pension’s record to the National Identification system is done for purposes of weeding out any ghost pensioners. This is being done by capturing the biometric details of the pensioners which details are linked with the National Identification and Registration Authority database.
Biometric validation of pensioners is still ongoing at the Ministry Headquarters to give a chance to those that were not able to turn up at the validation centres that were set up country wide early this year. Concerned pensioners and beneficiaries are advised to make use of this opportunity to avoid suspension of their payments especially following a directive not to make any payments for records without National Identification details.
There have been complaints of delayed payments where some pensioners pass on without realising their benefits. The reforms are meant to curb such short comings. However, this has been caused mainly due to inaccurate data with records having incongruent information about particulars of the beneficiaries. The verification process would take long hence the delayed processing of the due payments. The good news is that the process of capturing and managing data is being improved with the officers handling pension claims being continuously trained. With competent personnel to manage data, the process is quicker and efficient because data will automatically be uploaded and the system will be clear on who is supposed to be served and who does not qualify to be served. The beneficiaries too can easily follow-up on their details once the data is accurate.
Sensitization of would-be pensioners is an activity the Ministry carries out so as to prepare them to manage life after retirement. This preparation is psychological and physical and also involves equipping the would-be pensioners with skills to manage life outside the government service.