Instead of waiting in lines and enduring bureaucratic red-tape to access their pensions, 1.3 million military pensioners, as well as retired employees of PTCL and CDA, can now easily collect their pensions from ATMs, thanks to the Pakistan Post’s announcement that it is taking steps towards a more computerised system of pension payments. ATMs will be installed in all GPOs across the country and later the number of their points will be increased.

Outdated models of pension collection are a pervasive yet easily fixable problem in government and it is appreciable that approaches towards a more efficient computerised pension system are being considered. Having retired employees come and collect their pension and stand in lines is a disservice to the old. Many pensioners had also complained of difficulties of logistics and red-tape when it came to collecting their pensions. Some government servants had to wait for months to get their pension for fulfilling their required documents after their retirements – the process was even more cumbersome for widows of government servants. This easy access to collecting via ATMs is more efficient and less burdensome to the pensioners and the government.

The pandemic has shed light upon how important more digitalised systems of information are for workplaces, the government included. Cash payments cause unnecessary social exchanges and delay. It is time the government update some of its old methods and move towards more effective disbursement systems. Lack of computerisation has led to poor documentation of the economy and a shortage of statistics – which have been a cause for bad economic decisions and increase of money laundering. A computerised pension payment plan is a necessary step, especially amidst the pandemic which leaves the elderly vulnerable. This digitalisation should be extended towards all sectors of the government.