Cabinet has approved increases in pension payments, amounting to some $555 million, to just under 24,000 government pensioners.
Speaking at Wednesday’s (March 21) Jamaica House briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said some 23,995 of the 27,653 pensioners, who are paid by the Accountant General’s Department, will benefit from this increase. The payments will be retroactive to July, 2011.
Outlining the band for the increase, the Information Minister said it is proposed that persons receiving monthly payments of under $20,000 receive an annual increase of $36,000; those being paid between $20,001 and $39,999 get a $25,200 increase per annum; beneficiaries getting between $40,000 and $59,999 receive a $15,600 increase; and those getting $60,000 and over benefit from a $13,800 increase.
Minister Falconer said retired government officers eligible for the payments include : persons on pension for at least two and a half years; those 55 years or older; and who were retired on the grounds of ill-health, regardless of age; in addition to widows, widowers and dependents of retirees, whose pension commenced prior to July 1, 2011.
“As you may recall, in 1991, it was agreed that regular annual pension increases should be instituted in an effort to address the plight of pensioners caused by the escalation in the cost of living over the years. Since that decision, increases have been granted, effective July 1, 1991, and on July 1 of each successive year. However, there was a gap, as the last increase was granted in July 2009,” Senator Falconer explained, hence the decision to grant the latest set of increases.