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Lack Of PenCom Board Stalls N14,400 Minimum Pension Payment

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Nike Popoola
Five years after the pension operators and the National Pension Commission drafted guidelines to commence N 14 , 400 minimum pensions for retirees , the payment is yet to begin.
A source at PenCom said the minimum pension could not commence because the commission had no board in the past five years.
Operators had recommended 80 per cent of minimum wage to be paid to retirees , following complaints of ridiculously low stipends paid to retirees with low balances in their Retirement Savings Account .
The PenCom source said, “ The guidelines are yet to be approved . So, we still cannot say this is the amount because we are going to make contributions before it is approved .
“ What was proposed then was 80 per cent of minimum wage at that time , which was N 14 , 400 .”
“ We did not have a board and that was why we could not progress with it , but now that we are expecting to have a board , we hope it would be reviewed because it is the responsibility of the board to approve it . ”
According to the source, with a new board , the commission may review the minimum pensions based on what the current minimum wage is .
It would be recalled that PenCom ’s board was sacked in 2015 , after which the executives were dissolved in 2017 .
At a retreat organised by the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria for the National Assembly Joint Committees for Establishment and Public Service of the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Pensions in December, the operators urged the Federal Government to constitute PenCom board .
They expressed worry that the sector , which had continued to record the fastest growing assets in the financial system , had been left without a board .
As of June 2020 , total pension funds stood at N 11 .05 tn .
The Pension Reform Act 2014 provided that PenCom should establish and maintain a fund to be known as the Pension Protection Fund in respect of the guarantee minimum pension.
According to the Act , funding of the minimum guaranteed pension would be partly obtained from an annual subvention of one per cent of the total monthly wage bill payable to employees in the public service of the federation and returns from pension fund investments .
It would also be funded from the annual pension protection levy paid by PenCom and all licensed pension operators at a rate to be determined by the commission from time to time .
The draft guideline , which was awaiting approval stated that informal sector workers and casual workers must have contributed for 120 and 135 months respectively before they could enjoy this privilege .
This initiative, according to the operators , will bring an end to situations were retirees are paid abysmally low pensions or when the balance in their RSA were awfully small, which made them un -pensionable .

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E-News

PTAD Postpones Resumption Of Pensioners’ Verification  

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The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has postponed the resumption of the walk-in verification exercise for pensioners under the defined benefit scheme (DBS), PTAD spokesperson, Olugbenga Ajayi, said.

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Business

Adamawa Begins Payment Of Outstanding Gratuity To Retirees

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Medugu who made the disclosure to journalists in Yola, said that the State and Local Government Councils jointly contribute N14 million monthly for the payments.

He explained that the amount being contributed monthly for settlement of the retirees’ gratuity would also help to cushion the hardship occasioned by COVID-19.”

So far, Government has settled the gratuity of about 6,300 local government retirees.

“And on monthly basis, State and Local Government’s Councils are contributing about N14 million for the payment of the gratuity.”

“According to our records, 989 local government Pensioners are not receiving their monthly pension, this is as a result of recent verification exercise,” he said.

Medugu urged the affected pensioners to be patient as the board was working to ensure that those mistakenly omitted  in the payment were integrated into the system.

Similarly, Chairman of Adamama State Pension Board, Mr Thomas Mahdi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, had approved N1.5 billion for payment of gratuities.

Mahdi said that the payment of the arrears of gratuity to State Government retirees affected those who retired between 2009 and 2012.

“The payments are categorised based on Senior Ma

 

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Pension

Fayemi Charges Pensioners On COVID-19 Protocols

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In order to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has  cautioned elderly citizens in the state to avoid large gathering, maintain physical distancing and adhere strictly to other safety protocols established for this purpose.
This is coming following the global resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor stated this in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while presenting 100 million naira cheque for payment of gratuities to 41 local government and primary school retirees in the State.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, said payment of the gratuities was in fulfilment of his promises to ensure that pensioners enjoy a worthy life after their meritorious service to the State.
Dr Fayemi reiterated his commitment to prioritising issues that affect the welfare and well being of pensioners with an assurance to sustain the techniques adopted in defraying outstanding gratuities in the State.
He promised to continue to utilize his position as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum in leading a frontal advocate that would position issues and policies affecting pensioners on the front burner of government agenda.
While assuring that Government would continue to try its best in making life comfortable for retirees, Dr Fayemi urged the beneficiaries to expend the money on profitable ventures.
Speaking on the rising cases of covid-19 across the world, the Governor stressed the need for old people who were considered as one of the most vulnerable age group to take personal responsibility in observing measures put in place to curtail the spread of the infection.
He said: “You have laboured for Ekiti State and now you are to collect the fruit of your labour and it speaks to the commitment of the government at ensuring that gratuity and pension are paid as at when due.
“It saddens the heart of the Governor that many retirees that served their fatherland had not been paid their entitlement.
“The Governor is desirous of leading a frontal attack on all the liabilities that our pensioners are due for both in Ekiti State and as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
“Pensions and gratuities payment would continue to be on the front burner of the Government policies as long as you have the governor piloting the affairs of this state and pensioners can go to bed knowing fully well that issues that affect their welfare and well being will continue to get primary attention of this government.
“I can assure that before this Government winds down there would be more batches many people that have not been paid would be paid. My advice is that as we collect this we should make judicious use of it.
“I will advise also that as we celebrate Christmas and New year we should be guided and be reminded that COVID-19 is back
“And science tells us that the second wave is deadlier than the first wave, from history we learnt that the second wave is always more turbulent, so I will advise our people to observe social distancing, to watch their hands and observe other identified Covid-19 protocol. If it is not compulsory for us to go anywhere as we celebrate Christmas and New year let us stay at home.”
Also, in a related development, Governor Fayemi officially laid the foundation of the new Secretariat Complex of the union in Ado Ekiti. Performing the event, the Governor assured of his support in the timely completion of the project.
Earlier, the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Ekiti, Elder Ayo Kumapayi commended the Governor for his policy on the payment of pensions and gratuities which had allowed members to fulfil their financial commitment to the union.
According to him, the new office complex is designed to accommodate an office, ICT section, a health section and a kitchen for the betterment of the members of the union.
Elder Kumapayi disclosed that the funding of the various projects which his administration embarked upon were drawn majorly from check-off dues deduction.

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