54-Year-Old Colonial Rule Delays Teacher Pensions
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has stated that the delay in processing retired teachers’ benefits and pensions can be ascribed to colonial-era regulations, bureaucratic procedures, and the National Treasury’s continued use of manual systems.
TSC’s Human Resource and Management officer, Julius Olayo, and Legal Affairs Director, Cavin Anyuor, explained during a Senate Education Committee hearing that the manual processing system and legal provisions of the Pensions Act have made the payment process time-consuming and cumbersome.
According to Olayo, the bureaucratic process entails various regulations and the verification of numerous papers, resulting in processing periods of up to two years. Anyuor underlined that the Pensions Act was passed in 1952, more than a half-century ago.
TSC emphasized that it facilitates the pension payment process by collecting pension claims and submitting them to the Director of Pensions at the National Treasury for processing and payment. Despite TSC’s operating standards requiring teachers to collect their pensions within three months of retirement, antiquated legal constraints make timely payouts impossible.
To alleviate these delays, TSC has established an office at its headquarters manned by Pensions Department personnel. Teachers are encouraged to submit required documentation to the commission’s county and sub-county officials for verification and subsequent transmission to headquarters.
TSC is also in the midst of automating sections of the pension process in order to reduce processing times. Claims will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis, and pension processing employees will have daily goals.
The Senate Education Committee expressed worry about TSC’s practice of deferring pension processing until a teacher leaves, and advised that it begin nine months before retirement.