Public Telecommunications Ministry exploring depositing pensions into local banks
–Aims to stop large gatherings at post offices amid COVID-19
–Database already created
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, 1 April,2020
The Ministry of Public Telecommunications is exploring the option of having pensions deposited to local banks to reduce the number of seniors gathering at post offices to uplift their money particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Public Telecommunications Hon. Catherine Hughes told DPI, discussions had begun about two years ago.
“Similar to how persons have their salaries deposited straight to their bank accounts, we are talking about having pensioners start signing up to have their pensions go directly into their bank accounts,” the Minister outlined.
It was highlighted that when the idea was suggested floated there was some resistance because it was felt this would be an inconvenience to pensioners. However, the Minister opined that it was forward- thinking to use the technology available.
“We have to work out a solution so that some of the pensioners can go straight into a bank account and limit the number of people who are taking a risk coming to collect their pension at the post office.”
She remarked that discussions will continue on the matter before moving forward.
A database has already been created but that too was met by resistance. One of those concerns raised the likelihood of banks charging pensioners a fee for the service.
However, Minister Hughes disclosed that “three years ago we met with the bankers’ association and they indicated their willingness to do this as part of their social corporate responsibility.”
The government has again reached out to the banks with a Memorandum of Understanding which Minister Hughes hopes they will sign.
It was also pointed out that the Ministry will begin putting systems in place to notify pensioners how they can register for the service.