Officials educated on pension rules

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Local government officials learned about rules governing the payment of government pensions to the elderly, disabled and HIV-infected at a seminar organized by the Community Development Club.

At the April 26 seminar at the Adriatic Palace Hotel, lecturers from Silpakorn University detailed the problems faced by pension officers regarding the government pension program and said insufficient training caused most problems, leaving officials to figure out rules themselves.

As a result, many qualified recipients never receive their government stipends, leaving local governments vulnerable to lawsuits.

Pornpoj Banthityanurak advises local officials about rules governing the payment of government pensions to the elderly, disabled and HIV-infected.Pornpoj Banthityanurak advises local officials about rules governing the payment of government pensions to the elderly, disabled and HIV-infected.

Pornpoj Banthityanurak, a Chonburi local administration official, said many pension offices never receive training on the government pension rules, leaving them understaffed and unprepared to handle questions from the public.

In some cases, he said, local politicians claimed they were providing the stipends as a way to gain favor with potential voters.

Qualified recipients also lost out on pensions because they failed to register in time, or moved and never notified the government of their new addresses.

The Thailand Community Development Club is hoping to alleviate many of these problems by providing training on program rules. Future meetings will be held with officials in Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Songkla.