The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has said that colonial laws, bureaucracy, and continued use of manual systems at the National Treasury have caused the slow processing of benefits and pensions of retired teachers.
Appearing on Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee chaired by Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu, the TSC Human Resource and Management officer, Julius Olayo and Legal Affairs Director Cavin Anyuor said that processing the payments takes long and is tedious due to the manual processing system and legal provisions under the Pensions Act.
The bureaucratic process, according to Olayo, has a lot of checklists and requires verification of many documents stretching the processing period to as long as two years.
Anyuor said that this law was passed more than half a century ago, in 1952.
Cavin Anyuor, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director of Legal, Labour and Industrial Relations
The teachers’ employer distanced itself from liability in the pension payment delays, saying that its mandate is purely facilitative.
This involves preparing the pension claims and advancing them for processing and payment by the Director of Pensions under the National Treasury.
While teachers should receive their pensions three months after retirement as per TSC operation procedures, the dated legal provisions deter the commission from paying on time.
Anyuor noted that teachers are required to fill out statutory forms, as per the law, and attach other documents like 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.
An image of the TSC Headquarters in Nairobi.