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Old-age pension books to be phased out

Whentworth Tanner, Director of Social Services within the Ministry of Social Protection, Whentworth Tanner.

As the Ministry of Social Protection (MoSP) continues its efforts to digitise the old age pension system in coastal regions, the exercise will see information technology being utilised to eliminate pension books. It will also establish a system where seniors will be allowed to use their National Identification (ID) cards to uplift their pension.

Director of Social Services, Wenthworth Tanner, explained that the ministry is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT) to upgrade the system into an automated one.

“…Currently, the system is primarily manual, we want to get the system automated and so that’s an ongoing process. We are continuing to work to get it onstream as soon as possible,” Tanner was quoted as saying by government’s Department of Public Information.

The Social Services Director said that an important aspect of the project will be the sanitisation of the old age pension database, which entails the removal of deceased pensioners from the pension register.  He said that the ministry is collaborating with the Registrar Office and funeral parlours in this regard and based on information gathered, the list will be cleansed.

On the issue of Guyanese who reside overseas and access pensions, Tanner said, “That is a bit more challenging given how the pension system is currently set up, however, these are things that will be addressed once the system is automated.”

The digitisation project is intended to ensure efficiency, accountability, and transparency in the distribution of Old Age Pension. It will reduce the need for workers to search various documents in order to retrieve information. Probation officers will also be afforded more time to conduct fieldwork and visitations.