By Christiana Onuoha
The Contributory Pension Scheme Sector under the umbrella of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), has urge the board of National Pension Commission (PenCom), to approve the commencement of the payment of N14.000 minimum pension.
The union in a communique, signed by the National Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Comrade Sylva Nwaiwu and its National Secretary, Comrade Adebayo Martins, also appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), to avoid further deaths of pensioners (their members) by issuing immediate directive to all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and insurance companies to pay the 2.5 per cent differential released by the Federal Government, to them en-bloc
The communique was issued at the end of the Central Executive Council (CEC) meeting of the Sector, held at the NUP national headquarters, Abuja, and was ratified by all the 35 participants of the Central Executive Council (CEC), who attended the meeting from various states of the Federation.
The Union further commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for being pensioners friendly and sensitive to have graciously approved and released the funds for the settlement 0f outstanding pension liabilities to retirees of the Contributory pension Sector (CPS).
The pensioners union also urge PenCom to ensure that the money is paid directly to the beneficiaries by the PFAs and insurance companies, to lessen their burden and save them from untimely death, rather than stock in their Retirement Savings (RSA) Account or to boost up the annuity policy balances in insurance companies.
“The Union demands that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) approves and direct all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and the Insurance companies to commence an en-bloc payment of the 2.5% differential released by the Federal Government, which takes effect from lst July, 2014, directly to all beneficiaries as arrears arising from shortfall of employer pension contribution, instead of coercing retirees to take it either as addition in part or as a whole to their Retirement Savings (RSA) Account balance or to boost up the annuity policy balances of those with the Insurance companies.
“That; the Union is aware that PenCom is guided by the-Act in her decisions and operations. However, it is strongly believed that administrative approach with human face by the Commission as she has done in addressing some of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (as amended) through directives to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), would no doubt effectively address the desire of the beneficiaries in this regard to avoid further deaths of our members due to increasing poverty experienced by retirees in this sector.
“That; the Union (NUPCPS) appreciates PenCom’s display of the template for the payment of pension lump sum on their website, but finds it too technical for the understanding of pensioners. It, therefore, appeals that it should be made simpler or for the Commission to organize enlightenment forums in collaboration with the Union on the above subject.
“That the various deductions from retirees’ salaries through the IPPIS platform including the National Housing Fund should be paid promptly to retirees by the authorities concerned. That; PenCom should as a matter of urgency, now that its Board has been constituted, implement the agreed and approved amount of fourteen thousand, four hundred naira (N14,400) as minimum pension payable in the contributory pension scheme.”