Despite a 2012 court ruling ordering the monies to be released, a total of 2,903 teachers who retired between 1997 and 2003 have yet to receive their pension.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani told the finance and national planning parliamentary committees on Thursday that the pensions department is in the process of expediting payment.
Mr Yatani explained that the National Treasury has deployed 27 pensions staff to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who work closely with claim documentation personnel to expedite claim processing.
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The CS was answering questions from nominated MP Wilson Sossion, who is also the former Secretary-General of the Kenya Union of National Teachers (Knut).
According to Mr Yatani, the pensions department received 18,257 revised claims for teachers who retired or died between July 1, 1997, and June 30, 2003.
The claims were made after 20 teachers won a case in the Nakuru High Court in 2012, requesting that their pensions be adjusted to reflect the higher salaries that had been proposed and agreed upon but were not implemented until 2003/2004.
To date, the pensions department has processed and paid 15,264 claims to retired teachers and beneficiaries of those who have died according to the CS's response to parliament.
In addition, Mr Yatani stated that over 100,000 teachers have gotten pensions and over 23,000 others have received death gratuities from the government in the last 24 years.
“Between July 1, 1997 and October 6, 2021, a total of 102,782 teachers have been paid normal pensions while 23,745 have received death gratuity,” said Mr Yatani.
Mr Yatani informed the lawmakers that the total amount spent on revised claims was Sh12.7 billion.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) merged the human resource management division with the pensions department in July in order to speed up the processing of pension records for about 2000 teachers who retire yearly.
TSC targeted to kick out bureaucracies that have been attributed to delays in processing pension details for teachers before they are sent to the National Treasury’s Pensions Department for payment.
The commission announced the departure from the past system where teachers had to shuffle from one department to another while making pension claims.
Some die before claiming their benefits as others resort to court battles to have their duly money paid. The merge is set to “align all human resource processes from entry to exit, serving as a one-stop-shop for all human resource-related matters.” Said TSC in a circular.
TSC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nancy Macharia said the decision will create seamless and effective service delivery from entry to exit of all teachers employed by the commission.
Teachers have been suffering from excessive delays that sometimes run into years after formal retirement with a lack of harmony between the National Treasury and the two key departments being blamed.
“All communication from teachers will be channelled through the county directors’ offices and all county human resource officers will work with sub-county directors to ensure submission of records to do with salary payments from entry to exit, conformation of appointment, performance appraisals, pension claims and gratuity,” states the circular to all regional and county directors.
Pension and gratuity payouts ran to Kh20.44 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year the state raced to sort a group of retired teachers who retired 24 years ago (1997) as ordered by a court after a revision of pension claims.
This saw the value of benefits given to civil servants grow by 33.33 per cent in July last year. The court in 2019, had heard that more than 50,000 teachers who retired between 1997 and 2003 had not received their pension as expected.
This year, the government launched a new pension scheme (PSSS) for public servants, including teachers which requires them to contribute 7.5 per cent of their pay.
The Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS), is mandatory for all teachers employed by TSC, and all public service workers, and any other under the age of 45.
The Teachers Service Commission has also directed its senior management officers in the regions to forward details of teachers who have attained global, national and local recognition to be featured in the Teachers Image publication that is made quarterly by TSC.
“The aspects may include exemplary performance in national examinations, sports, theatre, institutional management, innovation, community service or advocacy,” TSC said in the circular.
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