1. Conditions for Retirement
An officer should have not less than 10 years' continuous service and then he should retire from the service on one or other of the following conditions -
- on or after attaining the age of 55 years or in special circumstances with the approval of the Governor General 50 years;
- in case of transfer to other public service (that is, recognised service other than under the Government of Jamaica) on retirement from such service in circumstances in which he is permitted by the Law or Regulations applicable to that service, to retire on pension;
- on medical evidence to the satisfaction of the Governor General that he is incapable of discharging his duties efficiently by reason of an infirmity of the body which is likely to be permanent, or an infirmity of the mind. (Such medical evidence is usually in the form of a report by a Government Medical Board comprising two Medical Officers).
- on the abolition of office;
- on re-organisation of service by which greater efficiency or economy may be effected;
- on retirement in the public interest.
An officer may, however, be compulsorily retired any time after he attains the age of 55 years or in special circumstances with the approval of the Governor General, 50 years. It should nevertheless be noted that without prejudice to the right of an officer to elect to retire or the right of Government to compulsorily retire an officer on or after attaining the age of 55 years or in special circumstances 50 years, the normal retiring age is 60 years.
2. Rate of Pension
One who satisfies the conditions for the grant of a pension may be granted a pension at the rate of 1/540th of his pensionable emoluments for each complete month of pensionable service. Put simply the officer's service is reduced to completed months and those months are placed over 540 (pension constant) multiplied by his pensionable emoluments.
N.B. In computing the pension the emoluments the officer was enjoying at date of retirement is used.
3. Reduced Pension and Gratuity
An officer on retirement may elect to receive in lieu of his full pension (computed as set out under 2 above) a reduced pension at the rate of 3/4ths of such full pension plus a gratuity of 12½ times one-fourth of the full pension. He is under no obligation to make such election, but once he does so, the full pension cannot be legally restored at any time afterwards. However, since 1st April 1982, Government adopted a policy of restoring full pensions to persons who on retirement elected to take a reduced pension and gratuity. Such restoration is made with effect from the completion of 12½ years in retirement.
4. Gratuity Payments
An officer who retires with less than 10 years service is eligible to receive a gratuity equivalent to 5 times what his annual rate of pension would be if there were no minimum service to qualify for a pension. In other words calculate what his pension would be in respect of his actual service by using the formula set out at paragraph 2 and multiply the result by 5.
Benefits payable when an officer dies while in service
Where an officer dies while in service, provided he was confirmed in his post, there may be paid to his estate either:-
- one year's pensionable emoluments; or
- his commuted pension gratuity, that is, the gratuity which the deceased himself would have received if he had retired at the date of his death and had elected to receive a reduced pension and gratuity, whichever is the greater.
It should be emphasised that such gratuity is paid to the deceased's estate and not to his spouse as is generally believed. Payment is made on production of Probate of Will or Letters of Administration granted in the Estate.
5. Retirement on the ground of abolition of office or reorganisation of service
Where an officer is retired on the ground of abolition of office or reorganisation of service, that officer is not required to have 10 or more years service to qualify for a pension. Once he is confirmed in his appointment a pension is calculated as in paragraph 2. What this means is that an officer can be eligible for pension under this heading after 1 year's service.
Also an additional pension is payable based on 1/60 of the officer's pensionable emolument for each completed 3 years of pensionable service up to a maximum of 10/60. Normal pension and additional pension should not exceed the pension which would be payable had the officer continued in the service to age 55 in the same post and had received increments for which he was eligible.
6. Retirement on the ground of ill-health
Where an officer retired on the ground of ill-health and service is 10 or more years but less than 20 years, the officer is credited with additional years to bring his service to 20 years or the difference between the officer's age and 60 years whichever is less. These additional years are used to give an additional pension based on the normal pension formula.
Example, if the officer had 15 years service and was age 50 years the additional pension would be based on 5 years to bring his service to 20 years. However, if he had 15 years service and his age was 57 years, the additional pension would be calculated on 3 years.
7. Breaks in service
Hitherto all periods of an officer's service prior to any break caused by voluntary resignation or dismissal for misconduct were disregarded in the computation of any pension for which the officer subsequently became eligible. However, the Pensions Act was amended to enable breaks in service to be disregarded. Nevertheless certain conditions have been laid down in order for one to enjoy this facility. Chief among these conditions are: -
- no period in relation to which benefits were paid at the time of leaving the service will be taken into account with any subsequent service for pension purposes;
- no period prior to dismissal for misconduct will also be taken into account unless the Governor General so directs having regard to all the circumstances of the case;
- no period during which an officer was serving on a temporary basis will be taken into account unless such temporary employment was followed by a permanent appointment in which the officer was confirmed;
- no period while an officer was serving on probation will likewise be regarded unless he was confirmed in his appointment; and
- in order to receive a pension an officer will be required to have total service of 15 years unlike an officer who serves on a continuous basis where the minimum requirement is 10 years.
8. Deferred Pensions
The amendment referred to at paragraph 8 also provides for the payment of deferred pensions, i.e. the payment of pensions on attaining normal retiring age to officers who have satisfied certain specified conditions and left the service prior to attaining retiring age. The pension will be paid to officers who have served for not less than 10 continuous years or to officers with breaks In service whose total periods of service reckoned on the basis set out at paragraph 8 amount to not less than 15 years. Such pensions will be paid when the officer attains the age of 60 years. Again this pension will not be paid to officers who have been dismissed from the service for misconduct nor to officers who left the service prior to 1st April 1972.
Where an officer with breaks in service whose total periods of service which may be taken into account amount to less than 15 years he may be granted a pension in respect of any period which by itself was not less than 10 years. Thus if an officer had say 11 years' continuous service followed by a break and then a period for say 3 years he will be granted a pension in respect of the 11 continuous years.