PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (Wednesday, April 7, 2021) — Pensioners will now have the opportunity to apply for their Senior Citizens’ Pension (SCP), via an online automated process, entitled “Automated Senior Citizens’ Pension Process”, was sealed, during an official launch ceremony, recently, at the Chaguanas ttconnect Service Centre.
The Pension Process was 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, without having to leave 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.
During the launch, Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator 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 holistic government approach to the delivery of key goods 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”.
Attending the launch, on behalf of MSDFS, were: Permanent Secretaries, Jacinta Bailey-Sobers and Sheila Seecharan; Deputy Permanent Secretary, Vijay Gangapersad; and Wendell Jones, Supervisor III of the Social Welfare Division. Also in attendance from iGovTT were: Sherwin Ragoonanan, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer; and Edson Eastmond, Head of ttconnect.
According to Minister Cox: “Today’s 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 scarce 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 to the financial and business sector to seek out additional avenues that would ensure that older persons are better accommodated, when utilizing their services.
According to the Social Development Minister: “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, 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, 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.