History of the payment of pension, widows and orphans pension commenced in 1815 when Sri Lanka became a British Crown colony. Officers who served in colony for the British Empire were entitled to monthly and a pension and the Colonial Secretary was responsible for the payment of salary and pension. Basic reports on payment of pension are found from the commencement of 20th century. Even though the Pension minute was introduced by section 02 of the Ordinance No 02 of 1947, it had become a part of the law of the country since year 1901.

At present the provisions of the revised Pension Minute dated 05th May 1972 are implemented subjected to the various revisions made to the minute drafted in year 1947. According to the sources available on history, the total expenditure on pension in year 1920 was Rs. 2, 155,792.10. The total expenditure on basic salaries during same year was Rs. 20,889,613.38. Further the total number of pensioners in the same year was 1200. Rs. 1,249,833.29 put of the total expenditure on pension had been paid for the local workers and further an amount of Rs. 905,958.87 had been paid through Crown Agent for foreign workers as the number of such workers in Government service was as a considerable level. Widows and orphans’ pension, which had been introduced by Widows and Orphans’ Pension Ordinance No 01 of 1898, had been implemented up to 1906 as a Widows and orphans’ fund. However it has been transformed to a pension scheme with the abolition of the fund in 1906. Accordingly all the contributions, which have been recovered, have been credited to the Consolidated Fund of the Government. As a result of this measure, payment of Widows and Orphans’ pension has become a burden to the Consolidated Fund.

All officers who joined public service with pensionable appointment are required compulsorily to make contributions to widows’ and orphans’ pension scheme and from 01.08.1983, all female officers should also compulsorily make contributions to widowers’ and orphans’ pension scheme. Widows’ and orphans’ pension ordinance which had come to effect from 23.06.1898 had been amended from time to time and accordingly the amended Act no 08 of 2010 is implemented at present for the purpose.

The history of the pension scheme is being up dated on timely requirements with necessary changes and in the meantime the Institution as well as the institutional structure, which is responsible for the process, has also been updated in different ways. The responsibility on payment of pension to Public Officers in the public service after winning independence from colonial rulers has been entrusted to Additional Controller of the General Treasure. However with the establishment of Ministry of Public Administration in 1970, the Department of Pension has also been established on 23.12.1970 as a department of A grade. With the establishment of the Department, widows and orphans pension and Public Service provident fund have also been brought under the scope of the Department in addition to the payment of pension of public officers.

Until such time Widows and orphans pension scheme was maintained as a sub Department under Ministry of Finance. (Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Office) Public Service Provident fund was operated with the participation of Deputy Secretary of the General Treasury, which was established in 1942. Even though the Department of Pension has been created amalgamating these three sectors which prioritize the social insurance for public service, the Department was located at the General treasury. Later several divisions have been maintained at different places in Colombo. Accordingly, Head Office and several other divisions have been maintained at second floor of Colombo Secretariat building whilst one division has been maintained at first floor. Widows’ and orphans’ pension office has been located at the surrounding area of the building. In the meantime, Office of the Public Services Provident Fund has been located at a building at Bambalapitiya. Office of the widows and orphans pension scheme for teachers’ profession has been maintained at Secretariat building, Maligawaththa. Having taken in to consideration the difficulties faced by the recipients in getting their services fulfilled by the Department as the institution has been scattered and further considering other administrative issues, the Department of Pension has been established at Capricon Tower building situated at No 10, N.H.Kadar Mawatha, Pettah, Colombo on 10.08.1980. Later due to the terrorism prevailed at the time and the attack made to Central Bank of Sri Lanka by terrorists, the Department has been established at Secretariat Building at Maligawaththa. Since then the Department of Pension operates its functions at the same building consists of five stories.

Looking back at the history of the organization structure, the name of Mr. Lenard Panambalama is found as the first Director of the Department of Pension, who had served as the Additional Controller of Establishments, after bringing the Department under the Ministry of Public Administration. At that time the total cadre of the institution was limited to 200. The staff consisted of officers of Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Sri Lanka Accountants’ service and other officers of combined services. However with the expansion of the scope of the Department, 340 pension officers and 141 Document Assistants have been recruited in year 2005 and accordingly the departmentalized staff has been created for the Department. Further the powers of the Department have been decentralized to Kachcheries and later it has again been extended up to Divisional Secretariats. Since when the Department of Pension was brought under the Ministry of Public Administration, following officers have served as the Head of the department.

Director of Pensions

Year Name
1971 - 1975 Mr. Leonard Panambalama
1976 - 1979 Mr. Shyaman Jayasinghe
1979 - 1986 Mr. Donald Abesinghe
1987 - 1989 Mr. S. Sivanandan
1990 - 1991 Mr. Austin Jayawardana
1991 - 1995 Mr. R. W. Piyasena
1995 - 1997 Mr. Ariya Samaraweera
1997 - 2001 Mrs. P. M. P. Jayawardana
2001 - 2002 Mr. S.W.Rajapaksha
2002 - 2004 Mr. Victor Samaraweera
2004 - 2012 Mr. K. A.Thilakaratne
2012 - 2012 Mrs. N. Abeywickrama
2012 - 2013 Mr. D. Swarnapala
2013 - 2016 Mr. S. S. Hettiarachchi
2016 to Present Mr. A. Jagath D.Dias

 

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