Struggling Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) has been ordered to pay more than 4,000 former employees money likely to run into billions after the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) ordered it to re-calculate the pension and pay in 30 days.
The pension watchdog gave the directive following an order by High Court judge George Odunga that all former PCK employees be paid in accordance with rules of the defunct Kenya Posts & Telecommunication Corporation (KPTC).
The order will also affect unspecified Telkom and Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) formerly Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) workers.
While compelling the RBA to determine a petition filed by lawyer Titus Koceyo for the former PCK employees in 2014 to have their pension’s dues calculated as per the KPTC Pensions Rules enacted by Parliament in 1998, Justice Odunga directed the trustees of the authority (RBA) to discharge their duties in accordance with the law.
Mr Koceyo told the judge to find RBA had abdicated its duty to address a complaint filed by former employees of PCK led by Mr Moses Ondingo.
He said the claimants were entitled to a fair administrative action as required under Article 47 of the Constitution.
Justice Odunga ruled it would be unfair to drive away the claimants from the seat of justice yet they had raised a genuine complaint against RBA.
“It is not in doubt that there is a lapse of three years in determining a complaint arising from retirement benefits is inordinate delay,” ruled Justice Odunga.
“I am satisfied that the delay on the part of RBA in determining the applicants complaint amounts to abdication of the constitutional and statutory obligation to resolve such disputes placed upon it.”
Although RBA had alleged that the matter was a complex one, it did not place before him any evidence to prove the claim.
As a consequence RBA was directed to determine the dispute in accordance with the Retirement Benefits Act No.2 of 1998 in respect to all former employees of KPTC seconded to the three entities.
RBA was given 60 days to conclude the outstanding issues.
The RBA CEO Nzomo Mutuku on Wednesday directed PCK Trustees to “recalculate the members’ benefits for service rendered during three different periods in accordance with applicable rules.”
Mr Mutuku ordered PCK to pay the underpaid former employees’ pension dues entitled to them within 30 days.
His directive will equally affect Telkom which had been ordered last year to pay Sh7.2 billion in pension dues.
When KPTC was split Telkom walked away with a staff capacity of 19,000 employees, PCK with 4,000 and CAK has the smallest staff capacity as it is a regulatory body.