18 July 2014

Liberia: House Endorses Retirement Benefit Act

The House of Representatives has endorsed a proposed Act seeking pension benefits for President, Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The Act, when passed into law, will amend and restate the pension Bill of 2014 for government officials to include the President, Vice President, Speaker, and Deputy Speaker.

It also seeks to include President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, members of the Legislature and elected chamber staff of the Legislature, Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. The proposed Act, introduced by the House's Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, wants the state to provide to a former president who was elected and has served his/her tenure successfully and was not re-elected a monthly pension salary of 50 percent and 25 percent benefits of the incumbent president.

The proposed bill will compel the government to provide at least six personal staff to include, two security officers, a cook, a bugler, two drivers, and shall be assigned two new vehicles once every three years for the remainder of his/her natural life.

In addition, he/she shall be entitled to annual medical check-up of his/her chosen to be covered by the state, and shall be entitled to duty-free privilege for all personal effects to include vehicles once every three years.

If re-elected or appointed to any position with benefits and salary, the committee explained that benefits for said president shall be suspended and reintroduced after his/her retirement.

According to the committee, these benefits apply to the offices of retired Vice President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Senate Pro-tempore, Chief Justice and members of the Legislature.

Justifying the importance of the bill, the chairman on the House's Committee on Rules, Order and Administration Edwin Snowe said for so long elected officials who have tirelessly served the state have not been given due recognition, and that the bill will serve such purpose.

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