PTAD implements new pension wage, pays N7b to 24,000 retirees
*Govt considers health insurance scheme for retirees
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has begun the implementation of minimum pension wage payment in compliance with the national minimum wage law by paying 18 out of 24 months arrears of the consequential adjustment.
The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, who disclosed this at the North-Central Stakeholders’ Forum in Ilorin, Kwara State, further disclosed that plans were underway to pay the remaining six months before the end of the year 2021.
She added that at the end of its expanded validation and re-computation exercise, the PTAD had paid N7 billion to 24,000 retirees.
The PTAD boss revealed that the Federal Government, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health, had established a ministerial committee to work out the possibilities of providing health insurance for retirees.
She further stated that the committee was in collaboration with some key stakeholders, including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Senior Citizens Centre, and the Federal Ministry of Health, to create health insurance.
She explained that the verification exercise was done in a bid to bring onboard verified pensioners not on the payroll, clear all outstanding pension arrears and resolve all complaints of short payments and outstanding gratuities for the Civil Service Pensioners and their Next of Kin (NoK).
“At the end of the project, the directorate was able to review, compute, re-compute and pay over seven billion Naira to over 24,000 pensioners. This computation exercise is ongoing,” she stated.
Though the coronavirus dealt a devastating blow on the global economy and shrank physical interactions and workplaces, PTAD stated that it opened up more channels of communication and complaints resolution to enable it to serve retirees better while the country battled to contain the virus.
Dr Ejikeme explained: “Despite the lockdown, PTAD continued to pay monthly pensions promptly, resolve complaints, and even cleared the accrued arrears, death benefits to some Next-Of-Kin and one-off payments of some defunct agencies such as the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Ex-workers of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), as well as some pensioners of NITEL/MTEL.”
She hinted that the post verification validation for the parastatal pension department was ongoing, saying, “over 21000 unverified pensioners were dropped from the payroll in October 2020. So far over 2500 of the October drops have been verified, restored to the payroll with the attendant arrears paid.”
The onboarding of verified and not on payroll is ongoing.” Dr Ejikeme submitted that the steps are geared towards ensuring that PTAD delivers optimal services to its esteemed pensioners.
She revealed that while PTAD had carried out a similar exercise in Benin, Uyo, Kaduna, Sokoto, Enugu, Umuahia, Yola, Maiduguri, and Lagos state, it intends to visit other geopolitical zones in due course and ensure that all eligible pensioners are duly captured and placed on its payroll.
She also hinted that PTAD’s quest to recover the pension assets with some insurance underwriters has been yielding some positive results.
Dr Ejikeme said the launch of ‘I Am Alive’ confirmation platform, an online application to confirm that Pensioners on PTAD monthly pension payroll are alive and should continue to receive their pension, is a web-based platform designed to enable PTAD’s pensioners to easily confirm their aliveness from the comfort of their homes or neighbourhood using either a smartphone or a computer system.