Happy New Year. It is devastating how teachers are being treated by the government (“insert TSC”). Forget the transfers being effected currently, which is totally inhuman, where teachers are being moved miles from their homes, away from their families.
I lost my parent, a former teacher, and for nearly two years now, we have been chasing for their benefits from the teachers pension scheme.
According to Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), the benefits for someone exiting a scheme ought to be paid within a month of exiting a scheme. This is whether through:
4. Early, normal or late retirement.
5. Early retirement on health grounds.
6. Death – upon where benefits are paid to beneficiaries.
I know for sure that this applies to private companies and RBA is very strict about it. Under very rare circumstances does payment of benefits exceed that period, and the scheme’s trustess risk being fined by RBA for non-compliance.
Now, does this apply to government institutions as well? It is nearly two years and we have no idea what is happening. All we get is an update of how the file has moved from RBA to treasury for funds to be released and a lot of other nonsense.
Pension Scheme money belongs to the scheme members and it expected to be always available on demand. It is not an issue of the scheme liquidity or whatever other bullshit that comes from TSC.
As I have learnt, this applies even to teachers who are chasing for their retirement money or other benefits after exiting the scheme. After toiling your entire life to impact knowledge to school going children you have to camp at TSC and chase forever for your benefits.
Secondly and even more of a concern for me is that you do not get to see various inputs required for the computation of your benefits. As I explained before, I have some little experience in pension. How it should work is that after an employee leaves employment, they fill a leaving service form which states when the started employment, how long they have been working, and their monthly salary for each month they have worked is printed in it.
This form is signed and stamped by HR from where it is forwarded to the scheme for the benefits to be calculated and released, all within a month.
In my case (death benefits payable to beneficiary), all we were required is to fill a form indicating the member who has passed on, their TSC number and the beneficiaries of the deceased.
Till today I have not seen or been made aware of my parent’s particulars i.e their monthly salary details for the period of employment, when they started employment and how the scheme determines the benefits.
Each scheme has a Trust Deed and Rules (TDR) that specifies everything relating to that particular scheme. The TDR varies considerably between pension schemes. Does TSC scheme have one? Does TSC scheme abide by the RBA ACT? Basically, I should wait until there is whatever money deposited to my account at whatever time RBA deems appropriate to know that the benefits have been paid. This is absolute shit and ridiculous.
Finally, there exists so many brokers (cartels) in the government pension schemes business as i have learned. I met someone who offered to assist in expediting the process if i could pay him a cut.
Do I have to bribe someone to obtain benefits due to me? Imagine that teacher who has worked for probably 40 years of their life in the profession then have to bribe to obtain benefits due to them? That is the kind of rot in the TSC scheme and government and the wider pension schemes. I am told people chase for the benefits from government pension schemes for up to 8 years. It is such a painful and opaque process that is a nightmare filled with endless and fruitless trips to TSC upper hill offices.
I am your avid follower and I hope you are able to get more horror stories from people experiencing similar problems and expose this rot, inefficiency and big joke forced on us by failed systems in parastatal schemes.