Friday, August 10, 2012

Pension Reform Proposed

Expected to Combat Corruption Members of the Liberia Cabinet including Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, last Wednesday held a lengthy discussion about where the country stands and how they could take it forward in getting government’s objectives achieved. According to the Liberian Information Minister, Dr. Lewis G. Brown, II, when he spoke at a Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) press briefing which was addressed by Mr. Cyril William Allen yesterday, one of the issue that the cabinet resolved on was a reformation of the Civil Service Pension Reform Scheme. The reformation, according to Min. Brown, was considered in the cabinet meeting as a way to end the recycling of poverty among Liberians. Min. Brown: “imaging we begin a journey in life all weary, we acquire education then we get a job and yes we start up pretty poor most of us. We get a job and then we are able to make it for the family and by means of age or some other constrain you lose the job and suddenly we return to poverty from where we began.” Dr. Brown said that reforming the pension system will not only change the way Liberians view pension but it will provide a sense of economic security to civil servants that would retire from the public sector thus helping to alleviate corruption in the Liberian society. “Numerous studies show and testify that corruption in third-world countries are fed more by a sense of insecurity on the part of individuals about the future,” he added, “if this new pension scheme assures people of a sense of security about the future that you will not lose their jobs and be recycled into poverty, then clearly you have less and less instants of people hands getting caught in the cookies jar.” When Director Allen took the podium to give more detail about the new pension scheme, which could minimize corruption among public officials, he said that pensioners would be able to withdraw their funds deposited in their name with interest. He said under the new pension system the pensioner will continue to receive their pension until their death at which time their spouse (male or female) will continue to receive 50% of such pension until their own death. “Even after the death of the spouse,” he said, “the youngest child will continue to receive the 50% pension until that younger child reaches the age of 18.” He said that such will provide more security for people working in the public sector which include all branches of government so that they would not be afraid to retire. “They will not be afraid because knowing that at the end of your active duty that you can retire with dignity knowing that your love ones will be taken care of,” he said.

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