Over 59,000 pensioners benefitting from Govt’s pension increase

– recipients getting $25,000 old age pension

Some 59,500 pensioners across the country are now benefitting from the Government’s $25,000 per month old age pension.

Director of Social Services at the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Mr. Whentworth Tanner revealed that the pension population increased from 56,000 in 2019, to about 59,500 at the end of 2020.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information, Mr. Tanner said the Ministry has been work to digitalise the old age pension system.

To date, he said, over 100 pensioners have been receiving their monthly old age pension through the commercial banks.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud chats with this senior citizen during a COVID-19 relief cash grant and hamper distribution exercise in Mahaica in December 2020

“…In fact, that is another programme I am hoping that in 2021 more pensioners will utilise taking into consideration they have an existing bank account…Of course the option is available to our pensioners and it is for them to choose that option,” Mr. Tanner said.

Once a pensioner chooses this option, the first month pension would have to go through a verification process, which can take up to three weeks. Thereafter, it will be available during the first week of the month.

Additionally, subject Minister Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud in a recent interview with DPI, had said that the option would be available for persons to uplift their pensions at Western Union and other money transfer establishments closest to them. The sums would be delivered to those who are shut-in.

This, she said, would eliminate the need for persons to travel far distances to wait in long queues at post offices.

Effective from January 1, 2021, old age pension increased from $20,500 per month to $25,000 per month. This provision was made in the 2020 Emergency Budget.