Pensioners’ System Loopholes Worries Public Accounts Committee

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, (PAC) on July 13, uncovered loopholes within the pensioners’ system which has caused great concerns.

It was revealed that millions of dollars have been paid out over six years to Jamaican pensioners overseas despite no proof of life.

Accountant General, Anya Jones says the visitation restrictions due to the coronavirus have impeded their efforts to verify if pensioners are alive.

The ACGD’S policy requires the submission of life certificates quarterly; however, it takes up to 33 months to remove pensioners who are dead resulting in loss of public funds.

Additionally, the ACGD has 33,000 pensioners in its database 1000 of whom live overseas. Some $609 million have been paid to pensioners living overseas between 2012 and 2018 without verifying proof of life.

Chairman of the PAC, the Opposition’s Julian Robinson refuted the recommendation to have family members represent pension collectors.

He said this will only cause even more defects in the pensioners’ system, by having others impersonate individuals who should be collecting pension.

Jones acknowledged the risks adding that the Accounts Department is working to procure a new pension payment system.

She, however, notes the team is conducting high-level manual processing to gather information on pensioners who are alive.

More in this CVM Live report from Paige Dixon: