GPOC needs to address the weaknesses in the pension payment system

Dear Editor,

During last week, the Stabroek News reported that the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) and the Ministry of Public Telecommunica-tions are currently researching the introduction of a “debit card-like system” for pensioners to receive their monthly payments. In effect this research is focused on linking the GPOC with the banking system.

I have no problem with this research, however it is my view that the pension payments at the post offices need to be thoroughly reviewed. I say this based on my experiences and observations of the operations of GPOC.

As a pensioner, I would normally go the post office after the second working day in the month to encash my pension voucher. I have experienced at three post offices (I refrain from naming them), “Sorry sir we have no cash, please return tomorrow” over the past two years for approximately 50 per cent of my visits. On Saturday 3 February payment ceased at that post office at 7.30am, since it was out of cash and was awaiting reimbursement. I left that post office, frustrated as usual and went to the main branch post office where I received my pension. Could you imagine the number of pensioners who would also have been told to return for their pensions? Whenever I ask to see the officer in charge (the Postmaster), the usual response is he/she is unavailable.

It is obvious to me that there is a critical management problem existing at GPOC when it comes to pension payments. If there is proper financial planning, a post office should not be out of cash for pension payments. Each post office should be preparing a monthly cash budget for pension payments. As an example, this monthly budgeted amount should be the average actual payments over the last three months, as well as another 10 to 15 per cent on that average monthly amount, for unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully with proper financial planning, a post office should possess adequate cash to meet the monthly pension payments.

On day one at the post office there is only one wicket open, invariably not promptly at 07:00 hours. There should be at least two wickets open on day one and two respectively in order to process these payments, and if there is an unusually large number of pensioners on hand, then open a third wicket temporarily. If there are pensioners to be paid at closing time ‒ 15:00 hours, then the post office should be open beyond the closure time so as to make those payments. Further, the Postmaster should be visible in managing the execution of this system.

Adequate security arrangements are necessary. There should be one guard inside the post office and another outside of the post office on the peak pension days. I saw no security guard at the post office I had visited on February 3.

It is evident that the executive management and the Board of the GPOC are not fully addressing the system of paying pensions. On the research of payment of pensions through the bank, if GPOC wants to interface with the banking system, today’s pensioners may hardly want to be using a debit card. Those pensioners who are presently using debit cards would be inclined to use a card for pension. They may be less than 20 per cent; however, it can be adopted.

An alternate system should be established with the banks for them to pay old age pensions similar to the bank system for the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pensioners. On the presentation of the NIS voucher, the bank pays accordingly. It will require that the Ministry of Social Protection promptly reimburse the respective banks each month on receipt of the bank’s invoices for old age pensions. Involving the banks will result in a fewer number of pensioners going to the various post offices, and this will apply to geographical areas where commercial banks are established.

In closing, it is

imperative that I state my experience and observations on the payment of pensions in order to justify a review of the present system. The decision-makers of the GPOC need to address the weaknesses of this system and then to strengthen it in keeping with best practices. Now is the time for less talk and more positive action to be taken by the respective authorities. Our pensioners who have served this country well, need a revised and efficient system of pension payments.

Yours faithfully,

John Seeram  


Lowe’s conclusion on case before CCJ was spurious

Dear Editor, In reaction to Mr Sherwood Lowe’s letter  captioned ‘Mendez has shifterd the CCJ gaze from Article 1 to Article 9 of the Constitution’ appearing in the Stabroek News of the 20th March, 2018, I would wish to submit that in my respectful recall the learned counsel for the Respondent in Richardson v Attorney General and Trotman asseverated that, in the absence of a credible definition of the terms “democratic” and “sovereignty” in Articles 1 and 9 of the Guyana Constitution, the court was required to construe these terms.

A stint in Parliament does not prepare anyone for proper management of a government ministry

Dear Editor, Our system of government is supposed to be the Westminster system, but it is not in use in Guyana today.

This society needs to embrace more liberated and progressive thinking

Dear Editor, Milton Bruce’s letter ‘The Editor-in-Chief makes all the decisions’ (SN, March 20) refers.

Realistic solutions not rhetoric are needed to bring relief to the sugar workers

Dear Editor, Regional Executive Officer of Region Six, Ms Kim Stephens, is reported in the March 19, 2018 Stabroek News, during her remarks at the ceremony to honour the Rose Hall Martyrs on March 13, 2018, “that that severed sugar workers are ‘timid and afraid’ of diversification”.

Government did not provide $68M in the national budget for the IDPAD conference

Dear Editor, It would be remiss of me not to address the Guyana Times article of March 9, 2018: ‘Govt yet to receive report on $68M IDPAD conference’, since it is either a malicious article or one in which the author is wallowing in ignorance.


Not Ready to Subscribe ?

You can still join over other 15,000 subscribers and receive FREE breaking news alerts as they happen and the morning brief featuring top stories of the day. 

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now