By: Lamin B. Darboe- Information Officer, PMO
The Director of the Pension Directorate Division at the Personnel Management Office (PMO) has revealed that the new Pensions Act shall repeal the Pensions Act, 1950 and it will introduce a contributory pension scheme as opposed to the current non-contributory scheme, thus addressing a number of limitations of the Pensions Act, 1950.
Isatou Dibba stated on Friday as she also talked about the functions of her office. Among other things she discussed the establishment, administration, and contributions of the Act to the Public Service Pensions Scheme and Fund which she said the fund has been established for the remittance of contributions of Public Service employees towards their pensions and gratuity.
She said the Scheme is created for the purpose of ensuring payment of pensions, gratuities, and other applicable benefits provided under this Act to public officers.
According to Dibba, the New Pensions Act shall provide civil servants with additional benefits such as dependents’ pension for five years, entitlement to some benefits upon resignation, a provision for a missing member, minimum and maximum pensions, among other things.
“The Acts shall centralize the Pension Administration under the PMO with a view to providing enhanced pensions to public servants and making the process of pension and gratuity payments less cumbersome and more efficient,” Dibba explained.
Pensions, gratuities, and any other benefits payable under this Act, Director Dibba added, shall be funded jointly by the Government and contributions made by public officers. Noting that the Accountant General shall deduct from every public officer, an amount equivalent to five percent of pensionable emoluments and the amount shall be remitted to the Public Service Pensions Fund.
She said that if the Government fails to deduct the contribution referred to section 6 sub-section (2), the amount shall be recovered in the subsequent months from the public officer without any notice to the officer.
“The Government shall meet the balance of the cost of the pension, gratuity, or other benefits payable under this Act after allowing for contributions referred to under Sub-section (2). Director of Pensions shall maintain a unique personal identification number to each member of the Scheme and maintain an updated register of members”.
She said her office shall be responsible to the day-to-day administration of the scheme and responsible to the Permanent Secretary on administrative and technical matters.
More also, her office shall open and maintain a pension account for each member with a personal identification number, reconcile the information maintained in the member’s account with the payroll records maintained by the Accountant General in respect of deductions made under this Act.
She said her office will issue regular communication to members on matters relating to the Scheme, provide customer service support to members, including access to member’s account balances and relevant statements upon written request, and be responsible for all calculations relating to payable pensions, gratuities and any other benefits which are payable under this Act.
“Director of Pension shall keep and maintain an up-to-date register of members of the Scheme to enable accurate and the expeditious actuarial valuation of the scheme, at all times cause to be kept and maintained an accurate record of contributions made by persons employed,” she explained.
It should be recall that the new Public Service Pensions Bill 2022 was tabled before deputies at the National Assembly by the former Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray who doubled as the then Minister responsible for Civil Service Maters. The new Act was Gazetted and assented to by His Excellency, the President in April 6, 2022.