Pensioners will now have the opportunity to apply for their Senior Citizens’ Pension (SCP) via an online automated process.
This new arrangement entitled “Automated Senior Citizens’ Pension Process” was sealed during an official launch ceremony, on Monday March 29, 2021 at the Chaguanas ttconnect Service Centre, after being formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) and iGovTT.
Through this collaboration, persons who qualify for SCP may apply by emailing all necessary documents to ttconnect, thus allowing citizens to apply for this service without leaving the comfort of their homes. The initiative will encourage older persons, who are more vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus, to avoid lining up at the social welfare district offices, especially now as COVID-19 restrictions for social distancing are still in effect, so they move from in line to online.
Attending the launch on behalf of the MSDFS were Permanent Secretaries Mrs. Jacinta Bailey-Sobers and Ms. Sheila Seecharan, Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr. Vijay Gangapersad and Mr. Wendell Jones, Supervisor III of the Social Welfare Division. Also in attendance from the iGovTT Team were Mr. Sherwin Ragoonanan, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Edson Eastmond, Head of ttconnect.
During the launch, Minister of Social Development and Family Services,
Senator the Honourable Donna Cox said that the Ministry’s partnership with iGovTT represents another tangible indication of a government that is intent on ensuring that there is a whole of government approach to the delivery of key good and services to the national population, and is yet another avenue through which our ageing population of senior citizens preparing to apply for their pension, can have access to the Ministry’s services.
According to Minister Cox: “Todays commissioning of this Automated Senior Citizens’ Pension Process in partnership with iGovTT not only highlights the great efficiencies that could be derived from such a partnership but it also demonstrates how, in these times of scare resources and challenging economic circumstances, the benefits that can be derived for the greater good of all, when we break down the silos and create spaces for more collaborative Government”
Minister Cox also pleaded with the financial and business sector to seek out other avenues that would ensure that older persons are better accommodated when utilizing their services. According to Minister Cox: “I make an appeal that comes from the depth of my own heart, not just as the Minister, but as a citizen, and the daughter of a senior citizen; please do something, anything, that would relieve our senior citizens of that burden of having to line up from 6:00 a.m. in the morning to collect their money, when your institution opens for business at 9:00 a.m. I know that, like us, you have made your services available online, but quite a few of our senior citizens will never utilize those services, either out of fear, or simply because this represents their one excursion for the month. Can we seek out avenues to make that excursion a little more pleasant for them?”
Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer at iGovTT Mr. Sherwin Ragoonanan indicated that the initiative aligns well with iGovTT’s strategic plan which is a catalyst to achieving the National ICT and Digitalization Plan which will benefit clients and ultimately and improve the lives of all citizens in Trinidad and Tobago.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Jacinta Bailey-Sobers, told the audience that as the Ministry becomes more service driven and client centred, the initiative will help to improve the quality of service provided to the Ministry’s clients and improve client experience overall. She concluded that as a high performance organisation, the Ministry will continue to seek innovative and creative opportunities to collaborate, to help, empower and transform lives and ensure that no person is left behind.
Persons who are about to reach the pensionable age of 65 years old are encouraged to visit the ttconnect online portal at www.ttconnect.gov.tt and chat with the online representatives or call 800-8826 ext. 3001 for further information.