Pensioners, public assistance recipients encouraged to utilise banking payment option

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud on Tuesday said significant steps are being taken to modernise pension delivery services, while encouraging senior citizens to utilise the fast and reliable banking payment option available.

During the launching ceremony of the online portal for old-age pension and public assistance applications, at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence, on Tuesday, Dr Persaud expressed optimism for a future where old-age payment booklets will no longer be necessary.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud at the launch of the online portal for old-age pension, public assistance applications

“I hope that eventually, we will not have any books to deal with as people will gravitate to our banking system,” she stated.  

Currently, 1,574 individuals are listed as active users of the banking system, a number that is expected to grow rapidly.

The human services minister revealed that some 58,100 senior citizens were receiving old age-pension in 2020. Currently, the number of senior citizens receiving pension stands at some 74,000 with a projection of 76,000 by year end.

Upon highlighting the growth of old-age pensioners over the years, the minister reported that the ministry managed to directly deliver pensions to a total of 5,003 pensioners through the shut-in programme.

Similarly, 2,374 persons receiving public assistance also benefited from the direct delivery system.

Minister Persaud emphasised the simplicity of the process, encouraging citizens to embrace this new way of receiving their benefits.

Minister Persaud interacts with senior folk

The simple process involves a recipient of pension or public assistance to relinquish their books to the ministry. Then use the online platform that is accessible on the ministry’s website to sign up for the bank payment option.

Recently, the ministry has invested in a desk at their Lamaha Street Office to provide further assistance to citizens.

Upon completion, monthly payments will be made to the accounts of pensioners utilising the service within the first five days.

“Here again you don’t need to leave your home at all. So, it is revolutionising and transforming the mechanism of service delivery at the ministry,” the minister underscored.

Meanwhile, data collection exercises are in the pipeline to further enhance the accessibility of services provided by the ministry.

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