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Jamaica: Run On Post Offices Sparks Pension Cash Crunch

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security said that it is working with Jamaica Post to ease a cash-flow shortage at a number of post offices across Jamaica.

The problem has been attributed to pensioners, some of whom would accumulate their benefits cheques, triggering a run on the reserves of the postal services.

Permanent secretary in the ministry, Colette Roberts Risden, told The Gleaner that information reaching her office was that some pensioners who used to save cheques for up to three months are no longer waiting to do so. Instead, in an effort reduce time spent in public spaces, seniors have opted to cash in everything, leaving post office piggy banks squealing .

“Whereas before the post office would expect, for example, let’s say $200,000 in disbursements on any given day, which is what they would have on hand, we now have more people cashing three months worth of vouchers and creating a higher-than-usual demand for cash,” the permanent secretary explained.

As a result, the postmaster general is now in dialogue with banks to arrange for the transfer of cash on a timely basis to offset the upsurge in demand. However, the permanent secretary disclosed that the authorities were also aware of the security risks associated with leaving too much cash in-house at post offices nationwide.

“It’s a risk that they are trying to manage, not wanting to leave too much cash overnight for thieves to then go and break in,” Roberts Risden added.

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