Life Certificates- Frequently Asked Questions

A Life Certificate is an official document used by the Accountant General’s Department to verify the living status of a pensioner and tells us that you are eligible for payments from Government of Jamaica.

Here are a few FAQs and Answers regarding the Certificate and the processes associated with it.

Q: How often are certificates due?

A: Pensioners are required to submit a Life Certificate once every quarter. The due dates for the certificate are as follows: January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31.

Q: Who is able to certify my Life Certificate?

A: The certificate may be stamped and signed by any of the following: Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Minister of Religion, Medical Practitioner, School Principal, Bank Manager, Parish Councillor, Secretary of KSAC, Town Clerk or a civil servant at the equivalent grade of GMG/SEG1 or higher, stating post and Ministry or Department.

NB: The Life Certificate must not be signed by a family member or anyone residing in the same household as the pensioner.

Q: Am I able to submit a scanned/faxed of my Life Certificate?

A: No. The Life Certificate must be submitted carrying the original signatures of the certifier and pensioner as a hardcopy document. Accepted modes of submission are, post and delivery.

Q: What if I am unable to sign the certificate for medical reasons?

A: If, for a medical reason, you are unable to sign your Life Certificate, the procedure for completion of the certificate is as follows:

  • Have your medical doctor write a letter, addressed to the Accountant General, stating that you are unable to sign as a result of a medical condition.
  • Thereafter, your certificate is to be signed and stamped by the medical doctor, leaving the line for your signature blank.

Q: If I am paid through the Consulate/ High Commission, do I need to submit Life Certificates to the Accountant General’s Department?

A: No. All communication should be had with the Consul General/ High Commissioner in the country/state of residence.

Q: If I alter the date on the Life Certificate, will it be accepted for the date period that I have written on?

A: No. Life Certificates are barcoded with the dates ingrained therein.

Q: What do I do if I don’t receive my Life Certificate in the mail/e-mail?

A: You may contact the Department to request a certificate in any of the following ways:

Live Chat https://www.treasury.gov.jm
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thetreasuryja
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thetreasuryja
Twitter https://twitter.com/thetreasuryja
Whatsapp (Text only) 1-876-818-6583
E-mail info@treasury.gov.jm

Life Certificate Guidelines

Life Certificates are essential to the pension payment process. The Life Certificate is an official document used to verify that a pensioner is still alive and; therefore, eligible to receive a pension from the Government of Jamaica.

The Accountant General’s Department sends a Life Certificate to each pensioner at the end of every quarter. Certificates are to be completed by pensioners and submitted to the department by the end of the first month of the following quarter.

For example, the Life Certificate sent to you at the end of June, is due for submission to the Accountant General’s Department on or before July 31.

  • You must sign your Life Certificate and ensure that the person certifying indicates the date of signing. If, at the point of submission, the date on your Life Certificate exceeds three months it will be considered invalid.
  • The person certifying the Certificate must affix their stamp or seal.
  • If a civil servant is certifying the Certificate and they do not have access to a stamp, please ensure that they state the Ministry, Department or Agency to which they are employed as well as their post and rank.
  • The Life Certificates are designed with special security features and are only valid for the quarter for which they are generated. Hence, ensure that the quarter ending date corresponds with the quarter for which you are submitting same.
  • Do not alter the information on the face of the Life Certificate. The barcoded Life Certificate has special features unique to you and the specific quarter.

Any of the below listed officers may certify the Life Certificate:

Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, Minister of Religion, Medical Practitioner, Principal, Civil Servant at the rank of GMG/SEG1 and above, Bank Manager, Parish Council, Secretary of the KSAC and Town Clerk.

Points to note:

  1. The Certificate cannot be certified by a family member.
  2. Civil Servants who have retired from the public service and hold no other office, listed as being eligible to sign, are not able to certify the Certificate.

The completed Life Certificate ought to be submitted to the Accountant General’s Department either by post or hand delivery.

If a pensioner does not submit a life certificate, is late in submitting the certificate, or if the life certificate submitted is invalid, payments may be suspended until a valid life certificate is received.

Income Tax and the Pensioner

Pensioners are required by law to pay income tax.

Once the pension is over the tax threshold then a 25 percent income tax is applied. However the tax threshold varies depending on the age of the pensioner.

See below the break down of the tax thresholds for pensioners within the specified age ranges.

The tax threshold or tax free pay that is applicable as at April 1, 2017 is as follows:     

  • Pensioners under ages 55             $1,500,096.00 tax free
  • Pensioners ages 55 – 64             $1,580,096.00 tax free
  • And pensioners ages 65 and over $1,660,096.00 tax free

Therefore, any amount exceeding the stipulated tax threshold mentioned will attract 25% income tax.

NB: All amounts mentioned are the current rates and are subject to change by the Government of Jamaica.

Restoration to Full Pension

Pensioners retired prior to April 1, 2018 who elected to take a gratuity at retirement and have completed 12 ½ years in retirement will be restored to full pension.

When a pensioner elects to receive a gratuity and a reduced pension, a quarter of the pension for 12 ½ years is used to pay the Gratuity. At the end of the 12 ½ years the ¼ pension that was used to pay the gratuity, is restored to the pensioner, pending that his date of retirement is before April 1, 2018.

The pensioner would have already received the ¼ pension in the gratuity, therefore the restoration payment will be effective as at the end of the 12 ½ years. It is not paid retroactively neither is it a lump sum.

Please note that basic pension refers to the amount paid at the date of retirement. Any increase thereafter is referred to as temporary supplement.

Minimum Pension

Government Pensioners are entitled to receive a minimum pension each year based on their years of service.

The Government of Jamaica stipulates the minimum pension, which is subject to change.

The current minimum pension, with effect from July 1, 2019, is outlined as follows:

  • Pensioners age 55 and older, who have completed between 10 to 19 years of service, should not be paid a pension less than $15,000.00 per month and if they have completed 20 years or more of service they should not be paid less than $19,000.00 per month.
  • Widows/Widowers should not be paid less than $7,500.00 per month.
  • Dependents such as children or other stated beneficiaries should not be paid less than $3,625.00 per month.

Pensioners under the age of 55, who were not retired on the grounds of ill health or did not complete 10 years of service are paid the amount set out in their pension award letter.

COVID-19 Public Advisory

Following the announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the Press Briefing on March 16, 2020, the Accountant General has made an assessment of all service areas of the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) and has determined that limited service will be provided to customers over the 7 day period, which commences on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  We request that customers contact us through our digital platforms, as follows:

 

Live Chat https://www.treasury.gov.jm
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thetreasuryja
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thetreasuryja
Twitter https://twitter.com/thetreasuryja
Whatsapp (Text only) 1-876-818-6583
E-mail info@treasury.gov.jm

 

The following services may be accessed online: requests for Pensioner Life Certificates, P-24 forms and status letters.

 

It is our expectation that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will continue to make payments to the AGDs bank accounts, to be followed by appropriate email notification, while ensuring that the precautions, as outlined by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health and Wellness are observed.

 

Only limited operations will be conducted at our Contact Centre, we may be reached at 876-922-8320-7.

 

Pensioner Life Certificates and general mail may be submitted using the designated drop boxes which have been placed at the main entrance the MOFPS Building, 30 National Heroes Circle, Kingston 4, or through the regular postal service.

 

We do appreciate your understanding at this time and look forward to a continued working relationship with all our customers, as we strive to provide excellent service.

 

With best regards and wishes for continued safety.

 

Anya Jones

Accountant General

Goodbye Tension… Hello Pension

GOODBYE TENSION… HELLO PENSION!

After years of hard work and dedicated service, you want for your transition to retirement to be as seamless as possible.

Here are a few quick tips for making the pension process as easy as 1… 2… 3…

Step 1: Visit your HR Department

It is important to visit your HR Department at least two (2) years before your expected date of retirement. This enables you to ensure that all information required by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is already in your HRD’s possession. You should also gather all the information you can about the pension process as well as the emoluments that will be used in the calculation of your pension allotments. It is also crucial to ensure that your name corresponds on all your relevant documents, such as: service records, TRN, bank account and Government Issued photographic identification.

For example: If your name on your TRN card is Jennifer Brown, and the name on your photo ID card is Jennifer Brown-Green, this inconsistency may cause delays in the processing of your payment.

Step 2: Await your award letter from the MoFPS

Once your documents have been submitted to the MoFPS, you can expect an award letter within the next six (6) months. The award letter will indicate the type of pension you have elected to receive (pension or reduced reduced) as well as your gratuity payment amount.

*Presently, it is common for a pensioner to receive two (2) letters, one stating their alimentary allowance and advance payments, the next stating their pension and gratuity amount.

With your letter, you should also receive a copy of the Accountant General’s Department’s Banking Information Form. This form is to be completed, duly notarized and returned along with a bank account verification document (status letter, printout or statement).

Step 3: Check your Account!

If you have submitted all this information to the AGD, you may expect payment in your account within the next two (2) to three (3) pay cycles.

Public Advisory-Utilization of Digital Platforms

In light of the confirmation of cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica, the Accountant General is asking that customers utilize our digital platforms as much as possible for the satisfaction of queries and requests.

 

We may be contacted via the following channels:

Live Chat https://www.treasury.gov.jm
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thetreasuryja
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thetreasuryja
Twitter https://twitter.com/thetreasuryja
Whatsapp (Text only) 1-876-818-6583
E-mail info@treasury.gov.jm

 

The Accountant General extends wishes of safety and good health to our customers and their families throughout this time.

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