Kampala — The government yesterday launched a decentralised system of processing pension payments to ministries, departments and local governments.
The Minister of State for Public Service, Mr David Karubanga, said decentralising pension payment is intended to reduce time spent on processing retirement benefits, reduce extortions and abuse of office by responsible officers. Mr Karubanga said the police would be first beneficiaries of the new system because the institutions has the biggest number of officers who have retired or are about to retire.
"Under full decentralisation of processing of retirement benefits, pension file can be completed within 30 minutes at the ministry, government departments or local government. Pension processing is free of charge, must be prompt and transparently handled," he said.
Processing of pension has been marred by illegalities, with senior citizens bounced or forced to make numerous return visits to access pay they are entitled to. Many die without accessing the funds or receive less cash than is due. Government employees who frustrate and cheat retirees will be prosecuted or demoted, depending on severity of the offence, minister Karubanga said.
Public Service ministry Permanent Secretary, Ms Catherine Bitarakwate, said before decentralising pension payment they first cleaned the payroll and validated biometric information provided by all public servants to eliminate ghosts. The ministry has also migrated pension records from the legacy system to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System and integrated active records with the pension payroll to allow seamless transition for pensioners.