|Two post office staff make a payment for pensioners at home in Đội Cấn Street, Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Đắc Tửu, 76, of Nguyễn Trãi Ward, Hà Đông District, Hà Nội, was very happy when his pension for April and May was brought to him at home.
“This is the first time I have received the pension at my house,” he said.
Normally, Tửu goes to the cultural house in his residential area to pick up the cash. The amount pensioners get depends on their contributions while working, with a minimum of VNĐ1.6 million (US$68) monthly.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, the Việt Nam Social Security has organised the delivery of pension payments for April and May to the homes of the elderly nationwide to protect them from the virus.
Tửu said during social distancing if the agency did not pay the money at home, elderly people like him would be in dire straits.
"The money is not much, but for me, it is very important," he said.
“It helps me and my wife cover our daily expenses,” he said.
Also in Nguyễn Trãi Ward, Nguyễn Văn Dũng, 90, said: “It shows the special attention of the local administration and the social agency to the elderly people."
Nguyễn Thị Hằng, 77, of Đội Cấn Street, Ba Đình District said receiving her pension at home not only saved travel time but also ensured the safety of elderly people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nguyễn Ngọc Nga, of Lý Nam Đế Street, Cửa Đông Ward, Hoàn Kiếm District said: “It is a very humane policy, creating conditions for the elderly to live happily and healthily during the time of social distancing."
The four are among 440,000 people in Hà Nội who received their pension for April and May in cash at home under the policy of the social agency, running between April 16 and May 10.
Data from the city’s Social Security Agency shows that paying the pensions for 440,000 people for the two months amounts to more than VNĐ3.94 trillion ($168.6 million) in cash.
The city has mobilised more than 1,500 employees of the Hà Nội Post Office to work with heads of residential areas to deliver the cash.
Nguyễn Thế Vinh, head of the residential area No 6 of Nguyễn Trãi Ward said he took the post office’s staff to each pensioner's house to hand over the cash.
It was estimated that more than 100 elderly people in the residential area received their pension at home on the first day of implementing the policy on April 16, he said.
“At first, pensioners very worried about the form of the payment. They did not know whether the payment would be slow or fast,” he said.
In reality, it took a few minutes for them to receive the payment, he said.
Đinh Thị Thu Hường, director of the Centre 1 Post Office, said after the post office was assigned to pay pensions in Ba Đình, Hoàn Kiếm and Tây Hồ districts, the office made a detailed plan to ensure the timely payment.
Nguyễn Công Định, director of Social Security Unit in Ba Đình District, said the post office staff called each elderly person to remind them to prepare documents to make sure the payment happened smoothly.
The payments were doled out successfully thanks to close co-operation among the ward authority, police and the post office staff, he added.
Đặng Đình Thuận, deputy director of the city’s Social Security Agency, said Hà Nội had 580,000 retired people in total.
The agency had made efforts to encourage retirees to receive their pension via bank accounts to ensure safety and move towards a cashless society, he said.
As a result, the number of retired people who agreed to receive their pension via their bank accounts had hit nearly 140,000, equal to nearly 24 per cent of the total number of retirees, he said. — VNS