Pension benefit for a convicted public servant
I am a public servant who has served the Government for 25 years and I am now 56 years old. Unfortunately, I have a criminal charge in Court against me for the last two years now and I don’t see the possibility of the trial being concluded within the next two years. I want to apply for a plea bargaining in order to have this matter concluded but I am getting an opinion from some people that because I am a public servant once I plead guilty and get convicted of an offence, I shall be dismissed from public service and that conviction and dismissal from public service shall disqualify me from getting my retirement pension. Is this assertion correct? Please guide me as I am concerned about my well-being.
Regulation 40 of the Public Service Regulations, 2022 provides in clear terms that a public servant who is dismissed from public service, who at the time of dismissal had qualified for the pension or gratuity under the Pension Scheme, is entitled to a lump pension and passages but shall only be disqualified from getting monthly pension. A public servant qualifies for a pension if he has contributed to the Public Service Social Security Fund for not less than 180 months and has attained a retirement age which is 55 years. Since you have worked for the Government for 25 years and you are 56 years now, you qualify for a lump sum pension.
Your conviction and dismissal from public service will only disqualify you from getting monthly pension. However, do bear in mind that a public servant who is convicted of corruption or embezzlement of public funds is only entitled to a lump sum pension which is calculated on the basis of the employee’s monthly statutory deductions alone. The employer’s share is removed when calculating the lump sum pension for a public servant dismissed from public service due to conviction of corruption or embezzlement of public funds.
In short, your conviction will not disqualify you from pension entitlement but the amount of the pension you will be entitled to will depend on the nature of the offence to which you intend to plead guilty to and hence you must move with caution.