Africa-Press – Uganda. At least 224 retired judicial officers are all smiles after getting their first pension benefits under the new Judiciary law that see some staff get 100 per cent of their former salaries as pension.
According to a statement from the Judiciary signed off by the permanent secretary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, the retired judicial officers are going to be paid pension arrears of July to December last year.
“The Administration of the Judiciary Act 2020, which came into force in June 2020, provides for retirement benefits to all judicial officers. … I am happy to inform you that funds have been released to pay the retirement benefits for the period July to December, 2020. The funds for January to June 2021 are yet to be released and will be paid as soon as they are received,” Mr Bigirimana’s statement reads in part.
He said should any retired judicial officer not get their benefits by close of today, they should inquire from the relevant authorities.
President Museveni assented to the Administration of the Judiciary Act on June 19. The major highlights of the new law are that a retired chief justice and his deputy are to get pension equivalent to 100 per cent of their former monthly salaries.
The current salary of the Chief Justice is about Shs27m per month. This means that retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and Benjamin Odoki will benefit from the new law and will be getting monthly pension equal to the monthly salary of current Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo.
The rest of the retiring judicial officers such as the Principal Judge, Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeal justices, High Court judges, registrars and magistrates, receive 80 per cent of the salary/benefits in pension.
The other retirement benefits for the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal judge, justices of Court of Appeal and High Court include a one-off lump sum pay equivalent to 2.4 per cent of the annual salary multiplied by five and the years of service; a furnished house, an annual medical allowance, security provided by police, two domestic workers and a consolidated allowance of Shs400,000 per month to cater for airtime and internet.
Other benefitsThe law also guides on how the burial of a sitting Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge and a Justice of the Supreme Court should be facilitated.
This includes being accorded a state funeral, the body lies in state for a day for public viewing and Parliament pays tribute to the deceased judicial officer before the casket is transported to the burial place by a hearse.