Postal service working to speed up pension payments

The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) says it is working to speed up the processing of payments to pensioners.

Pensioners were made to spend long periods in lines earlier this month at post offices to collect their state pensions.

In an invited comment on Monday, GPOC acting Deputy Postmaster-General Abdul Hassan said that the corporation never intended to have the pensioners wait so long in the lines. “We are working to have a system where the average time a pensioner spends with the clerk is two minutes,” he told Stabroek News.

He said that the process may take a little longer to deal with the pensioners but the intention is to get the process over as quickly as possible. He noted that the increase in traffic earlier in the month was because many persons opted to collect their monies on the first two days of the month.

He said that old age pension is available throughout the month and can be uplifted on any day and not only on the first day.

Hassan said that this month the GPOC management decided to put lines to each teller to accelerate the process at its central office in the city, instead of one line going through the doors. Many pensioners, however, said that there should be more clerks on duty since the three that were there were not sufficient.

When asked what GPOC is doing to better accommodate pensioners, Hassan said that the corporation is currently working on having more seats available to persons on the busy days.

He added that many of the clerks work through lunch to ensure that the pensioners are properly serviced. “They work through lunch and other managers were also assisting persons in the lines.”

He further stated that last week the NIS pension was also being paid and this was another contributory factor to the long lines endured by the pensioners.

Last week, scores of senior citizens across the country endured long lines to collect their budget-increased old age pension and public assistance.  Many pensioners complained about the long lines they had to endure saying that it was unfair for them to stand in lines at their age for so long. Many expressed outrage and disgust about the humid temperatures and long lines they were faced with at the post offices.

Main opposition APNU recently slammed the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance for their carelessness in not having old age pensions ready on time. APNU called the delay disgraceful, inconsiderate and disrespectful to poor Guyanese.

Minister of Social Security Jennifer Webster told Stabroek News last week that the issue of pensioners waiting in lines was the fault of the various post officers and not the fault of the ministry.

The GPOC apologised to senior citizens and customers in general for any inconvenience they experienced during the crowded pension days.

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