GPOC explores pension payment options

Come 2019, Pensioners will likely be able to access their monthly pensions in several more convenient ways.

Minister of Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, explained in her Budget 2019 Ministerial presentation that the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) which comes under her Ministry’s remit, is responsible for preparing and making Pension payments to our senior citizens. The MoPT is currently working out new modalities for safer and more convenient methods of payment in light of the recorded escalation of post office robberies, and the concomitant scaling up of logistics to prepare those payments.

She pointed out that the postal service in Guyana, like those in every other developed and developing country, is striving to upgrade and broaden their operating scope, inculcating various technologies into their day-to-day operations and range of services.

The new options being considered include bank transfer to pensioners’ bank accounts, payments by cheque, and via some of the newer micro financial payment systems like Mobile Money. The move is to give the Pensioners choices that suit their circumstances.

The Telecommunications Minister told the National Assembly that over the past two (2) years the GPOC has experienced a loss totaling $8.3 Million as a result of robberies, the most recent being $2.2 Million taken from the Charity Post Office in Region 2.

Minister Hughes opined that financial transactions conducted at post offices should be done in a more secure environment which accounts for the physical and electronic upgrades that are being carried out at several post offices including New Amsterdam and Kitty. The other important objective is to limit the amount of cash held at any PO location.

In a more general sense, she said, Guyana needs to move into 21st Century financial methodologies, but the emphasis in the immediate future is on securing the monies that pay our pensioners.

“With this in mind, the postal service is committed to leaving no stone unturned as we look at projects that would improve the convenience and comfort of our senior citizens when accessing their pensions.”

Additionally, the Ministry recognises that a significant number of citizens who are approaching retirement expect that their financial transactions would be electronic. “We know that many of them already have bank accounts and are digitally competent which makes it easier to utilize these facilities,” she said.

Source: Delicia Haynes – DPI