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Retirees accuse PenCom of non-payment of 2017 benefits

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Pension

Federal Government Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have called on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) asking for the payment of pension entitlements of workers, who retired from January 2017 till date.

They noted that the Federal Government and the Commission had promised them prompt payment of pension immediately after retirement, or at most, three months after, but have not kept to their word.

The pensioners, who spoke under the auspices of the Association of Federal Contributory Scheme Pensioners, Oyo State chapter, insisted that the government ought to keep its promise in order to preserve the life of pensioners as well as their family members and dependants.

The pensioners said: “We wish to demand further that some of our members have not even received any of their retirement benefits, especially those who retired from January 2017 to date. Their retirement benefits have not been paid to them, and this is causing serious problems in the life of members who are affected.”

Moreover, the pensioners’ association, in the letter signed by its President, Amao Shittu, and its Secretary, Prince Akingbade, also criticised that the total amount being paid to federal pensioners under the new pension scheme as take home, after various deductions for Annuity or the Programmed Withdrawals, are nothing to write home about.

They said this has further impoverished pensioners given the prevailing economic condition in the country.

Speaking on the accrued interests arising from the Accrued Pension Benefits Bond with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), they disclosed that no federal government pensioner has been paid the interest accrued from this bond since the inception of the new pension scheme in 2004, and thereby, called for payment of the entitlements.

“The Federal Government through the Central Bank and PenCom still owe all categories of contributory pensioners the accrued interests on their initial entitlements since inception from July 2004, which was deposited with the Central Bank as Bond. Therefore, we are demanding the calculation of all accrued interests (on all monetised amounts) as at July 2004, at the government’s official interest rate,” they said.
PenCom Spokesman, Peter Aghahowa, who confirmed the non-payment of pension entitlements to federal government retirees since 2017, however said the government had released money for settlement up to February, but was yet to release for those who retired from March 2017 till date.

Earlier, the Chairman, NTA Association of Contributory Pensioners, Gbadebo Omolaja, accused PenCom of not being proactive to the complaints and observations of pensioners on the shortcomings in the system, adding that many pensioners were yet to receive their entitlements almost a year after retirement from service, and called on the Commission to address the issue.

While appealing to government to challenge PenCom on its responsibilities to pensioners, they equally implored the National Assembly to extend its oversight function to the Commission with regard to the welfare of contributory pensioners, and make necessary amendment to the Pension Act, based on all the observed shortcomings.

They said: “It is our hope that PenCom would be alive to its responsibilities and the welfare of the contributory pensioners, because the secrecy under which PenCom operates is unexpected and worrisome.”


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Amao ShittuCBNPENCOM
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