Monday, November 9, 2009

Revised Pension Policy

The following news item from The Sun attracts my attention. There should be some explanations to all concerned. Was there a misunderstanding of the provisions in the revised pension policy announced 14 years ago, or is someone being very inefficient?
Pensioners fed up with PSD turn to PM for help
By Himanshu Bhatt

SEBERANG PRAI (Nov 8, 2009): Retired government officers disgruntled by the Public Services Department’s (PSD) failure to implement a revised pension policy - announced 14 years ago - are appealing to the Prime Minister to intervene.

The pensioners, many of whom are aged and debilitated, have come together in an informal network currently stretching across five states in the peninsula to submit a memorandum on the matter to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The group’s coordinator, former teacher Arumugam Suppiah, 65, said it had collected 814 signatures from pensioners supporting the memorandum.

According to the policy, introduced in a PSD circular dated Jan 30, 1996, government servants were to be entitled to pension calculated on the number of years served.

The policy was supposed to retroactively come into effect for pension payments issued from Jan 1, 1995 onwards.

“It has not been implemented till today despite countless appeals,” Arumugam told a press conference organised by the group at the Inderawasih Rukun Tetangga centre here today.

Currently, all government retirees are paid on the same scale, their pensions rounded up to similar figures, without consideration given to the numbers of years served.

“We, the poor pensioners who are drawing a few hundred ringgit of pension have been deprived of our rights in getting this revised pension formula and arrears,” he said.

Retired Malayan Railway staff Athimulam Rengasamay, 75, said the group had previously sent two letters to the prime minister’s office in 2005 and 2008.

The matter was referred to the PSD’s pensions section for action, but it had yet to take any action.

A copy of the letter sent last year was also sent to Cuepacs but the union has also yet to act on it.

Arumugam, however, said they were grateful to the prime minister for approving a RM500 bonus for government pensioners in the 2010 Budget.

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