Business

93-year-old gets posted on Gov't pension

TELL Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, April 15, 2018

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Dear Claudienne

I have been reading your column online and have seen its success on behalf of people with diverse problems. So I have decided to give you a try at my problem.

I am a 93-year-old Jamaican living in Florida. I was married in 1948, and worked in the Government Service from 1945-1960, when I resigned from the position as a postmaster, in order to migrate to the United States.

Since September 2016, I have been trying to get my retirement benefits with no success. I sent a written request to the director of personnel at the post office headquarters on South Camp Road and spoke on many occasions with the human resources officers. I was told that they are unable to locate my file. I was further asked to allow them some time to search for those records and I would hear from them. I have not received a call back. After some time passed I called back the office and was given the same story.

Attached to my request for help is a copy of my Certificate of Service, which states that my service was good and that I resigned voluntarily.

Many telephone contacts were made on my behalf by a relative in Jamaica to the Office of the Services Commission. They promised to look into the matter and have dialogue with the HR department at the post office head office. However, nothing materialised. Nonetheless, I am still hoping for a positive result to my request for a pension.

Considering the fact that Government keeps salary records for their employees for 60 years along with the necessary salary scales, I am hoping that someone will take the initiative to make a determination on my behalf as soon as possible.

Any help and guidance that can be extended towards helping me get this resolved will be highly appreciated.

BL

Dear BL

Tell Claudienne has been in communication with the postmaster's office and public relations manager. The files with your service records which had been put away in their archives were found on November 8, 2017. We note that you filled out the forms that the post office mailed to you.

However, when the post office asked their auditors for verification of the salary scale for postal employees in 1960/1961 when you resigned,they were told that it could not be verified due to the unavailability of the salary scale for that period.

The post office tried to obtain the 1960 salary scale from the pensions department at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFP) as they said that they needed to have this information to complete the audit.

However, after the Pensions Department at the Ministry of Finance and The Public Service determined that the audit could be completed without the salary scale, the post office sent your documents to the MOFP pensions office on January 9, 2018. Your file was sent to the computation officer at the MOFP on February 15, 2018.

As it seemed at that time that you would be getting a pension, we asked the accountant general (AG) to advise you of the necessary steps to be taken before the pension would be posted to your bank account. We note that the AG phoned and gave you the information.

On April 11, 2018, Tell Claudienne received the following e-mail from the director of communications and public relations at the MOFP:

“Further to query pertaining to BL, the Ministry is to advise that persons who resigned or retired from the public service prior to April 1, 1972 would not be eligible for a deferred pension.

“Consequent on that, BL would not qualify for a deferred pension. The Ministry has advised BL in writing of her ineligibility for a deferred pension.

“You have informed Tell Claudienne that you received the following letter from the Postmaster General dated March 9, 2018:

“Reference is made to your memorandum dated January 8, 2018 in regards to pension benefits to BL formerly a postmaster 3 in the former Post and Telegraph Department.

“Kindly be informed that in keeping with the provision of the Pensions Act, BL is not eligible for a pension based on the fact that she resigned from the public service prior to April 1, 1972, the date on which she would be eligible to qualify for a deferred pension.

“The delay in replying is regretted.”

Signed for the Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance and The Public Service.

We wish you all the best.

Disconnect with Flow

Dear Claudienne

I have been a FLOW customer since July of 2014 on the Browse and Talk plan. At the time of writing to you (September 4, 2017) for the past 9 months each time I try to make a call I get a recording that says, “Your account has been expired.” Please note that I pay my bills on time and have never had my services disconnected.

The first time I called FLOW I was told that because I pay my bill on time the call time had not been rolled over. So I decided to start paying my bill on the due date. However, I am still having the same problem, and each time I call it takes weeks for them to activate the service. When I call and complain, they always tell me that the accounts department has not yet rolled over the minutes.

I am tired and frustrated and would like you to talk to FLOW about this problem for me. The last time I spoke to a FLOW customer service person was September 2, 2017 and they promised to have the problem sorted out.

RH

Dear RH

Tell Claudienne discussed your problem with FLOW and on investigating they sent us the following e-mail response:

“Thank you for bringing RH's concerns to our attention.

“We sincerely apologise again to RH for the inconvenience caused by his experience. We are pleased to report that our team had reached out to him and the issue was resolved on Monday, September 4, 2017. We also added some browse and talk credit to his account. We appreciate hearing from our customers and greatly value their business. As such, we thank RH for giving us an opportunity to address his concerns.”

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com . Please include a contact phone number.

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