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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Why it’s taking long for retired teachers to get their pensions; TSC

TSC blames colonial laws and bureaucracy for delayed payment of pensions to retired teachers.

According to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the National Treasury continues to process retired teachers’ benefits and pensions slowly due to colonial legislation, bureaucracy, and the use of manual systems.

TSC Human Resource and Management Officer Julius Olayo and Legal Affairs Director Cavin Anyuor testified on Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu, that processing the payments takes time and is laborious because of the manual processing system and legal requirements under the Pensions Act.

According to Olayo, the bureaucratic procedure involves numerous checklists and necessitates the verification of numerous papers, lengthening the processing time to as much as two years.

Anyuor said that this law was passed more than half a century ago, in 1952.

TSC stated that its role is solely facilitative and that it disavowed any responsibility for the delays in pension payments. 

This entails getting the pension claims ready and sending them to the Director of Pensions at the National Treasury to be processed and paid.

According to TSC operating regulations, teachers should get their pensions three months after retirement; however, the outdated legal constraints prevent the commission from making timely payments.

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Anyuor pointed out that teachers must complete statutory forms in accordance with the law and attach supporting documentation, such as their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Cards.

He said that to remedy the delays, the commission has set up an office at its headquarters, with officers from the Pensions Department.

TSC is encouraging teachers to submit required documents to its county and sub-county officers, who will verify them and forward them to its headquarters.

The commission has also started automating aspects of the pension process to further reduce processing time, according to Olayo, the Legal Affairs Director.

Claims will be processed through the first-in, first-out principle, and employees involved in pension processing have been placed on daily targets.

The Senate Education Committee questioned why TSC should wait until a teacher retires to start processing the pensions, suggesting that the process should begin nine months prior to retirement.

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