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FG commits to settling pensioners’ benefits promptly

By Bankole Orimisan
06 January 2022   |   4:04 am
The Federal Government has expressed commitment to meeting pensioners’ expectations by paying accrued pension rights as and when due to reduce accumulation of payments across the country.

National Pension Commission (PenCom). Photo: PENCOMNIG

The Federal Government has expressed commitment to meeting pensioners’ expectations by paying accrued pension rights as and when due to reduce accumulation of payments across the country.

The government had released N16.67 billion to 2021 retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) according to the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

PenCom said in a document made available to The Guardian, that the Federal Government had earlier settled all arrears of accrued pension rights payments to the verified and enrolled retirees up to December 2020, and no fewer than 190,158 retirees of MDAs were last month paid N884.58 billion as accrued pension rights from the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme, (CPS), till December 31, 2020.

The commission’s yearly report for 2020 posted on its website showed that the government had discharged N65.9 billion into the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) account for the payment of accrued rights to retirees MDAs.

The report explained, “As a result, the commission approved the release/remittance of the entire amount to the RSAs of 11,385 retirees and deceased employees of treasury-funded MDAs.”

Earlier, the commission had in July 2021, notified its stakeholders, particularly pensioners of treasury-funded MDAs that the government had approved its submission on the payment of a few critical aspects of the outstanding pension liabilities of the government under the Contributing Pension Scheme.

According to PenCom, the settlement of the outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled FGN retirees and compliance with the reviewed rate of pension contributions are significant developments that have resolved the challenges in these aspects that have lingered since 2014.

The commission, on July 26 informed that N5 billion would be disbursed the next day (July 27, for payment of the 2.5 per cent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for Federal Civil Service retirees and employees.

The minimum pension contribution for employers was increased from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act, PRA 2014.

However, the federal government failed to implement it all along but continued to remit 7.5 per cent for its employees.

Speaking at the 2021 annual seminar for journalists in Lagos, Head, Contribution & Bond Redemption Department of PenCom, Saleem AbdulRahman, said that the Commission would also pay the accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that retired but were yet to be paid their retirement benefits.

AbdulRahman said: “The federal government released about N5 billion for the payment of the 2.5 per cent differential which will be paid into the Retirement Savings Account, RSA, of employees.”