The National Union of Pensioners, Contributory Pension Scheme Sector (NUPCPS) has accused the Federal Government of “shying away from the responsibility of funding the consequential pension reviews and adjustments against the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended).
National Chairman of NUPCPS Comrade Sylva C. Nwaiwu, at a one day Interactive Forum of Retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme, said; “Till date, we are owed pension increments of 15% of 2007, 33% of 2010, and the consequential adjustment arising from the recent national minimum wage implemented in 2019, which our counterparts under the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) who retired like us under the DBS had since enjoyed.
“It is imperative to note that the Federal government during the immediate past regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, started showing concern and commitment to pay all the above outstanding pension increments to retirees of this sector. To that effect, a committee was et up at the Debt Management Office (DMO). Which actually worked out the aiming in government bonds required for the payments
“We are surprised that since February, 2023 when that Committee submitted its report, no release of funds had been made till now.
“We have also observed that rather than addressing the current irregularities in the CPS, the Federal government is seen under pressure of exempting some group or workers from the Scheme in defiance of the agreements reached with all Nigerian workers before the commencement of the CPS in 2004. As we speak, some class of workers such as; the Military. the DSS, Top Hierarchy of the Civil Service, the Police and the Paramilitary, who were part of the CPS agreement in 2004, are now exempted for the Scheme and reverted to the old Define Benefit Scheme.”
The Union went on to lament that contrary to the constitution of the Federation that pension should be review every five years along side salary of workers , Federal Government has refused to do that for Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Nwaiwu further said the Constitution of the Federation provides that every five years there will be review of pension whenever salary is increased, adding since 2007, pensions of those under Contributory scheme has remind unchanged.
“This has not been done in the contributory pension sector from 2007 When the first crop of pensioners started till date but our colleagues under the DBS are enjoying this increase. So it appears government is even losing sight that they also have another sector of pensioners so that’s the problem.
” So our grieviences are non payment of pension increment is one, another one is that it is expected that government as employer contributes monthly just like the workers are contributing monthly. While workers are contribution is taken from the source, government is relenting as we are here now.
“Government has stopped remitting accrued rights which is their part of their own contributions since March this year and what pencom is doing is that as they pay, they now think of those who has been in the queue and pay them off.
“So as we talk those who retired since October 2022 are still there till now nobody has paid them. So if somebody who retired in October 2022 has not been paid, because every day people retire there are people retiring as we are here now even today so what’s happened to them so these are the two major challenges”.
On the essence of the forum, the senior citizen said the meeting is to seek solutions among stakeholders with the view of making the Scheme better.
“Its a pension reform initiative. So when we are going into reform, there is an expectation that you want to move from maybe good to better or from bad to good, but what we’re experiencing today is not exactly what we anticipated.
“So just like some of the speakers had said, We are not here to apportion blame. We are here today to seek solutions. And that’s the main purpose of this so that we can have a way forward in the contributory pension”.