Old Age Pension Act review proposed
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
SEVERAL members of the Legislative Council yesterday called for the use of bank facilities to expedite the payment of the old age pension allowance.
During the meeting of the 12th Session of the Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday, some members also suggested that the provisions be reviewed due to increasing standards of living.
Bruneians and permanent residents above the age of 60 who are registered with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) are entitled to receive a monthly allowance of $250.
LegCo Member Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Dulamin called for a review of the Old Age Pension Act, and to consider the option of paying out pension money through banks for those who prefer it.
He said this will expedite the distribution of monthly allowances which, under the current system, are given out through the recipients’ respective village heads.
YB Hj Mohd Yusof said the review should also look at ensuring that recipients are staying permanently in Brunei, and not abroad to avoid anyone taking advantage of the privilege.
According to Yang Berhormat Orang Kaya Jaya Putera Dato Paduka Hj Muhd Taha Abd Rauf, many recipients have called for a raise in the payout for the old age pension to be voiced during this year’s proceedings.
He said recipients who do not receive other monthly pensions or any other income only depend on the $250 from the Old Age Pension scheme.
In response, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof said there were no plans to review the pension scheme.
He said it is understood that there are senior citizens who depend entirely on the allowance, which may not be sufficient for them.
“If this is the case, there are (other) special considerations as an addition to their old age allowance, which are (financial aid for) the poor and destitute. Special considerations are given amounting to $100, as an addition to their Old Age Allowance which is for the (poor and destitute), under the monthly financial assistance from JAPEM,’’ the minister explained.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Halbi said he will address and elaborate on the topic on the old age pension scheme in today’s proceedings.
The Brunei Times