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Friday, September 29, 2023

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Children of retired senior state officials to get full medical benefits

Under the new budget, children of retired top State officials will now be eligible for full medical coverage.

The officer’s medical and hospital coverage will be available to the children of top retired State officials, such as former Deputy Presidents, former Vice Presidents, former Speakers, and former Prime Ministers.

Following the Finance Bill 2023’s adoption on Wednesday night, changes were made to the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designate State Officers) Act of 2015.

The children of the former senior officers are now qualified for complete hospital and medical coverage, including both domestic and international care. 

Only the spouses of the authorized officers were previously covered by the medical insurance. 

Children eligible for benefits must be under 18 or enrolled full-time in school until age 25.

However, a female child who is older than 18 but younger than 25 must be unmarried and must not be cohabiting with any person.

Inclusion of the children as part of medical and hospital covers adds to the list of benefits derived by the designated State officers.

Retired Speakers of the National Assembly or Senate are usually entitled to retirement perks, including a monthly pension equal to 80 percent of the official’s last monthly salary while in office. 

The former Speakers are also entitled to a lump sum payment on retirement equivalent to one year’s salary for each term served in office.

The officers are also granted one four-wheel vehicle with an engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc, which is replaced once every four years in addition to a fuel allowance equal to 15 percent of the current monthly salary of the office holder.

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A retired Prime Minister is granted similar perks but gets an additional two saloon cars, each with an engine capacity not exceeding 2000cc, which are replaceable once every four years.

A retired Deputy President or Vice President earns comparable benefits with former Prime Ministers.

The designated State Officers also enjoy add-on benefits under the Act including two drivers, one personal assistant, a housekeeper, diplomatic passports, two armed security guards, and access to VIP lounges at airports.

All the designated officers also get budgets to meet expenses for the vehicles provided by the State.

Children of the designated State officers are also eligible for the pension, which is payable for the benefit of an eligible child when an entitled person dies.

The pension is payable at the rate of 25 percent in the case of one child and 50 percent for more children where the payout is split equally for the benefit of each child.

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