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23.11.2005 General News

MDAs advised to process pension documents early - Minister

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Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - Dr George Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Wednesday advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to help retiring staff to complete all necessary forms and forward them to the Pension Computation Unit of the Controller and Accountant - General Department (CAGD) six clear months before retirement.

He said the regulations required that officers due for retirement be notified six months before the date of retirement by departmental personnel officers.

Dr Gyan-Baffour said this in an answer to a question by Mr Joseph Tsatsu Agbenu, NDC Afram Plains North, who wanted to know what remedy the Ministry of Finance was putting in place to enable workers due for pension on government payroll to receive their entitlements before their names were deleted by the Accountant - General.

Dr Gyan-Baffour said it was common to knowledge that many case files were submitted to the Pension Computation Unit after the date of retirement, adding that if this happened it might take approximately six months to get the first pension/gratuity payment through.

"It is clear that the six months regulation is not religiously adhered to, which does not help to facilitate access to pension/gratuity."

Dr Gyan-Baffour said if the forms were presented six clear months before retirement the CAGD would pay the pensioner his or her entitlement within one month of retirement.

He said there were two types of payroll management systems, the mechanised system and the stand-alone payroll system. "The mechanised system is centrally managed by the CAGD while the stand-alone system is managed by individual departments and is not centralised," he said, adding; "some of the stand-alone system are mechanised while others are manual."

He explained: "The centrally managed system by the CAGD is called the Integrated Personnel Payroll Database (IPPD). All ministries, Ghana Education Service (GES), Ghana Health Service (GHS), CAGD, Fire Service and Prisons are on IPPD and do not have their individual payroll systems."

The Deputy Minister said salaries of active workers; gratuities and pensions of retired officers of these MDAs were paid through the IPPD. "This IPPD system is designed in such a way that, one individual cannot be paid twice at the same time, that is, it is not possible to pay him/her salary and pension or gratuity at the same time, (month)." "It follows that, the pension and/or gratuity of an individual on the IPPD can be paid only after the name goes off the IPPD system."

Dr Gyan-Baffour said an individual could however, be paid his/her pension and or gratuity a month after the name was taken off the IPPD salary payroll, meaning they could then be put on the IPPD pension system.

He said because the IPPD could not have an individual's name for payroll and for pensions on the system, at the same time, the name for the payroll had to be deleted before the same name was entered for pensions/gratuity payment, adding: "This feature of IPPD is to minimise fraudulent behaviour."

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