Due to change of provider, hundreds of pension deliveries delayed

Pensioners in Tallinn (picture is illustrative).
Pensioners in Tallinn (picture is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Social Insurance Board (SKA) has changed the provider of home delivery of pensions in February, but all the contact details of the people provided to the new service provider turned out to be incorrect, meaning the home delivery of pensions has been delayed for several days.

The delay in entries has so far affected around 500 people, while pensions are brought home to around 5,000 people. Some of these 500 people have already been located.

"Hansab has been providing home delivery services since February, it has really turned out that we do not have the right addresses and Hansab does not have exact information about where the customer is waiting for their pension and support. The telephone numbers of the clients aren't correct either," Signe Uustal, Head of the Financial Accounting Department at the Social Insurance Board, said.

The previous service provider, Omniva, had been providing home delivery services for many years. "It was probably that there were already known direct contacts between certain letter carriers and customers. The letter carrier knew where the customer is and where to take it, but the changes did not reach the information systems," Uustal said.

Uustal said that the contact information of people who have been involved in home delivery so far has also been asked for contact information. "When we changed service providers, we actually started working with the service provider at a very early stage to check and make sure that everything was correct when the service ended," she said.

SKA communicated on this issue directly with the head office of Eesti Post, which collected information from the departments. Uustal said that the volume of work is large and people are scattered all over Estonia, which may be one of the factors.

Home delivery of pensions, allowances and benefits started on February 5 and has now lasted for five days. "The delivery will last for the next three days. In any case, we guarantee that everyone will receive it as soon as possible. It will officially end on February 12, but we have already talked to Hansab that it will be delivered to everyone after that," she said.

"Hansab is doing its best to deliver money to people, but this will postpone the next entries on the same date," she said.

Uustal noted that people waiting for their pensions should contact the Social Insurance Board and check their home delivery address. "Be sure to give us your correct phone number, which is the most important thing for us right now," she said.

Hansab tries to make a home transfer to the customer's address twice, and if the right person's place of residence cannot be identified with the help of the neighbors, the company notifies SKA, returns the customer's payment and asks the agency to find out its exact location.

There are 1,500 people who have not yet been reached because their transport day has not arrived, so failed payments may be added, Uustal said.

However, those whose pension is a few days late are not entitled to default interest, as according to the terms, it must take place within the same month. "At the moment, we are doing everything we can to reach people as quickly as possible. The customer's contribution is also important here, so that we have the right information in the systems," she said.

The information line of the Social Insurance Board is waiting for customers' calls with home delivery on working days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to +372 612 1360.

In October, there were the same concerns when offering services relating to the unemployment fund

Janno Kallikorm, CEO of Hansab, also confirmed that people's locations on paper do not correspond to reality. "In any case, we are trying to meet everyone halfway and deliver the money. There is not much left today, I can't say exactly," he said.

Even for those whose data is correct, the entries may arrive on a different date than before, as Hansab's freight rates do not overlap with Eesti Post's. Hansab has also informed people about this.

Hansab could not make the preliminary round before starting the service, as the company did not receive people's contacts from the Social Insurance Board until a few days before the start of the home transfer. "Unfortunately, we didn't have any chance to check it before," he said.

"The Social Insurance Board has to make these changes in its databases and it would be good if people sent the information to the office, it is the fastest way to solve it. But we will definitely help if people turn to us," Kallikorm said.

"Obviously, the exchange of information between SKA and the previous service provider was probably not good, and if the postman knew where the person lives, unfortunately, the board did not know it, and therefore neither did our new service provider," Kallikorm said.

Kallikorm pointed out that in October Hansab also started offering a similar service to the unemployment fund and the confusion was fixed during the first month. "I believe we can also solve this problem with pensions," he said.

Before starting the work of the new service provider, Hansab, the Social Insurance Board and Eesti Post did not meet to discuss the service. "The topic was under discussion, unfortunately, there are probably data protection rules and others that did not allow the Social Insurance Board to share this data with us before the beginning of this month, that was the main obstacle," Kallikorm said.

Hansab does not communicate directly with Omniva and the data flows between service providers through SKA. "He manages all the databases where these things are written, we can't make entries there and unfortunately he doesn't participate in the process there," he said. When people send their correct data to Hansab, the company forwards it to SKA.

Omniva said that the obstacle is likely to be that the new service provider is not yet familiar with the specificities of people's homes.

SKA Director-General Indrek Holst, the situation should end in the coming days and Hansab will continue to work to find people after the end of the working day.

"Looking back, it could not be said that they did not anticipate the current situation, but apparently could not adequately control these risks. Any double-checking could have taken that risk-off, but the new service provider is not able to find the customer fast enough and this has caused delays," he said.

On Thursday, the Minister of Social Security, Signe Riisalo (Reform), apologized for the delay on ETV's morning program.

The minister said that 20 people who should have received the pension, haven't been reached.

"I apologize to all the people who didn't get their pensions on the right day. The pensions are not large enough to save up and there is no family who could help, the situation is understandably difficult," Riisalo said.

"I confirm that the pensions will reach you with a delay of one or two days, and as of last night, 20 people could not be contacted. This is being solved and the pensions will reach you," the minister said.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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