7,800 ghost pensioners deleted from payroll

A total of 7,874 pensioners were deleted from the pay roll in 2019 for failing to present credentials for validation, the Ministry of Public Service has said.

The countrywide validation exercise was conducted between June and July 2019 but Ms Catherine Bitarakwate, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said the pensioners did not show up despite being given a deadline date for validation.

Mr Wilson Muruli Mukasa, the Minister of Public Service, said the pensioners were deleted from the payroll and their names sent to the IGG for further investigations

The Ministry of Public service has said government is in the process of introducing a contributory public service pension scheme. Mr Mukasa said the scheme aims at addressing governance, accountability and equity problems associated with the current unfunded scheme, among others. He also said the overall wage bill of government has over the years increased from Shs4.2 trillion to Shs5 trillion in the financial 2020/2021.

The 2014 and 2015 Auditor General’s reports indicate monthly pension payments of 12.7 billion and 11 billion Shillings respectively to ghost pensioners since the ministry had not been furnished with their life certificates.

Section 18 (1) of the Pensions Act, Cap 286, provides that every pension or other allowance granted should cease upon the death of the person to whom it is granted.

It is provided that a pension granted be payable for a period not exceeding 15 years from the date of retirement of the deceased pensioner. After the expiry of the 15 year pensionable period, the law requires all pensioners to furnish the Public Service Ministry with annual Life Certificates as proof that they are still alive.

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