New MVR5,000 pension disbursed today, says pensions office

The Maldives Pension Administration Office has today disbursed the revised MVR5000 pension to 16,120 elderly people.

The benefit has been raised from its previous level of MVR2,300 by the government after President Abdulla Yameen made the pledge during his election campaign.

After some confusion over the introduction of the increase this month, the pensions office today confirmed that new amount had now been successfully handed out.

The government had already allocated MVR470 million (US$ 30.5 million) in the state budget for the MVR2,300 allowance (US$149). These funds will now be invested in the retirement pension fund or in financial instruments such as T-bills in order to generate the monthly MVR5000 stipend, Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb has said.

While the government maintains this to be a sustainable model of financing the increase in pensions, critics have argued that, with a MVR1.3 billion (US$84.3 million) deficit budget, the move will plunge the country further into debt.