Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FG assures retirees of prompt payment of benefits

The National Pension Commission, PenCom, has assured prospective retirees of its commitment of ensuring quick payment of their pensions and other benefits when they eventually retire.

This, the commission hopes will encourage them delve into other ventures that will task their body and minds instead of staying idle after their retirement.

The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said this at a pre-retirement workshop for Federal Government workers who were due for retirement next year.

She stated that the commission considered contributors who were about to join the Contributory Pension Scheme as very important stakeholders, adding that measures were being put in place to make pension administration transparent and seamless.

“We all look forward to retirement so that we can take things easy, but we should also engage in activities that will stimulate our brains,” Mrs. Dahir-Umar told the prospective retirees.

As part of the reforms being implemented by PenCom, she said the commission had established uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for all aspects of pension administration, including payment of retirement benefits to retirees.

This, she noted, was achieved through the issuance of regulation on administration of retirement and terminal benefits; regulation on retiree life annuity; and the frameworks on pension enhancement and programmed withdrawals.

Data from the Benefits and Insurance Department of PenCom show that from December 2007 to March 2018, PenCom approved N6.14bn as monthly pension under CPS and N467.98bn as lump sum for 180,783 retirees on programmed withdrawal.

From January 2010 to March 2018, 51,819 retirees on annuity got N2.54bn as monthly pension from N259.58bn premium approved for annuity and N63.9bn as lump sum.

Dahir-Umar also said the circular on voluntary contributions was also aimed at repositioning the pension industry for the benefits of retirees.

The PenCom boss also said the commission had finalised arrangements to commence the verification of prospective retirees who would be retiring next year from the public service.

Dahir-Umar added, “As part of our annual regulatory activities, the commission has finalised arrangements to commence the verification of prospective retirees who would be retiring in 2019. The verification exercise is scheduled to be undertaken from June 25, to August 17, 2018, in 15 centres across the country.

“The impending exercise, therefore, necessitated the need to undertake adequate sensitisation and public enlightenment in order to prepare prospective retirees on the steps to take towards a hitch-free retirement life.”

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