Gov’t pays 12Bn in Retired Judicial Officers’ Benefits
etired Judicial officers can smile all the way to the bank after the Ministry of finance released 12 Billion Shillings in payment of their retirement benefits for a period of 12 months, thanks to the Administration of the Judiciary Act.
” This is to inform all beneficiaries that I have received approval to pay, on a monthly basis, retirement benefits from January to June 2021.” Accordingly, retirement benefits for the month of January have been paid. The process to pay those of February shall be [done] before 15th February.” Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary announced.
There are 224 retired judicial officers in the country and their benefits are being paid in line with the Administration of the Judiciary Act which was passed by Parliament last year – at the climax of Retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe’s tenure.
The law passed to bolster judicial performance through financial independence of the third arm of government and its officers by starving off external influences, among other sweeping changes, enhanced preexisting retirement benefits of all retired judicial officers including judges, registrars, magistrates, the Chief Justice, and the Deputy Chief Justice.
Under the law, a retired Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice are entitled, for life, to monthly retirement benefits equivalent to their respective salaries as though they were still in office.
A sitting Chief Justice earns a monthly salary of 20.6M Shillings and the Deputy Chief Justice earns 19.5M Shillings per month.
Retired Judicial officers right from a Supreme Court Judge to a Magistrate Grade Two including the Principal Judge are entitled, for life, to monthly retirement benefits equivalent to 80% of their respective salaries as though they were in office.
These benefits which are exempt from tax come along with a one-off lump sum retirement benefit equivalent to 2.4% of the retired judicial officer’s annual salary multiplied by 5 and the years of service in the Judiciary.
Further, the retired judicial officers except magistrates and registrars are entitled to security provided by the state, chauffeured cars, annual medical and housing allowances.
In case a Judicial officer dies in office, his or her family is paid the monthly pension for 15 years and the one off lump sum benefit.
Where the judicial officer dies in retirement, his or her family gets paid the monthly payment for the unexpired period of the 15 years.
Mr. Pius Bigirimana speaking against the back drop of the funds release said the retirement benefits are to ensure the judicial officers ‘ retire honourably.’