Retired teachers will get pensions within 6 months, CS Ezekiel Machogu tells senators

Ezekiel Machogu

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu fields questions from members of the Senate at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on August 9, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

It will now take just less than six months to process pensions for retired teachers, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has announced.

Appearing before the Senate on August 9, 2023, Mr Machogu said his ministry has directed the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to ensure that, once a teacher retires, his or her file is immediately processed and submitted to the Pensions Department at the National Treasury.

Thereafter, he explained, the processing of the payment of the dues should take between four and five months to be completed.

“We have asked TSC that once a teacher retires, the file is sent as soon as possible for the payment process to begin,” said Mr Machogu. “It is prudent that they [retired teachers] get their payments in time. We insist that the process takes between four and five months.”

The CS was responding to a question from Embu Senator Alexander Mundigi, who wanted to know why retired teachers have had to wait for more than two years to access their pension dues. The legislator noted that other retirees in the public service received their pensions within three months while.

“Why is it that teachers face problems accessing their pensions? How can the Education ministry work with the National Treasury to ensure they get their pension on time?” Mr Mundigi said.

“This is a person who was getting a salary every month and delaying the pension for more than two years is unacceptable,” the senator added.

Mr Machogu assured Mr Mundigi that the long wait by teachers for their pension dues will be a thing of the past in the current administration with the new plan to fast-track the process.

The CS called upon retired teachers whose retirement benefits have been delayed for over a year to contact the ministry.

“If there are such cases, then they should be forwarded to my ministry for action,” said the CS.

In May, TSC boss Nancy Macharia blamed the National Treasury over delays in payment of pensions to retired teachers, saying, TSC had always completed the necessary paperwork on time to the Treasury for payment.

She said TSC takes only three months to process documents for submission to Treasury, which delays in processing payment.

Additionally, Ms Macharia explained, teachers due for retirement are given a one year notice by the commission in order to prepare their documentation for payments in readiness for exit.

Ms Macharia had appeared before the Senate’s Education Committee to explain the inordinate delays to pay pension claims to some 23,487 teachers who retired between 1998 and 2003.

This followed a petition filed by a former teacher, who claimed that the TSC was yet to pay the retirees about 20 years after they left the service.

However, the TSC boss pointed out that some delays are occasioned by several factors such as delays to secure proper documentation from the retirees or certain cases where retirees and beneficiaries take long to submit the documents for processing to unlock the payments.