From left: Director-General Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, First lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Honourable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola, Benson Oke ;Chairman, House Committee on Establishments, Training and Pension, Hon. Adedayo Famakinwa at the event.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Lagos State Government’s funding of employees pension rights under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in a period of 10 years is about N150 billion, Honourable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola, Benson Oke, has said.
He disclosed this today at the 46th presentation of Retirement Benefit Bond Certificates to 286 retirees in Lagos, adding that today, the sum of N1 billion will be credited into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of the 46th batch of retirees of the Contributory Pension Scheme.
According to him, in less than three years – August, 2015 to December, 2017, the state had paid accrued pension rights of N33 billion to 8,300 Retirees, stressing that accrued pension rights previously paid before the current administration (2010 to mid- 2015) amounts to N33, 645 billion to 7,409 retirees and that since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentations in 2010, the State has paid accrued pension rights of over N66.5 billion to more than 15,709 retirees/withdrawn staff.
First lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode presenting bond certificate to a retiree
“The State Government is also very much committed to the regular contribution of the monthly deduction of 7.5% from the salary of every employee and the payment of the employer’s 7.5% contribution. As at November, 2017 the total contributions remitted to the PFAs from April, 2007 to date is about N83 billion. In essence, the Lagos State Government’s funding of employees pension rights under the Contributory Pension Scheme in a period of 10 years is about N150 billion; and today, the sum of N1 billion will be credited into the Retirement Savings Account of the 46th batch of retirees of the Contributory Pension Scheme,” he said.
Dr. Oke posited that with the commitment and performance, exhibited by the government, it is not surprising that retiring public officers in Lagos State now look forward to retirement with more confidence and joy.
Retirees at the event
He assured the retirees that the Lagos State Government through LASPEC will continue to ensure that public service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily, but also continue to receive, through other agencies and programmes) further and additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.
“Among others, this commitment is in fulfilment of the declaration by His Excellency who, in his Inaugural Speech said: “I shall run an open government of inclusion that will not leave anybody behind. No matter your age, sex, tribe or any other status as long as you reside in Lagos, we will make Lagos work for you”,” he said.
Director-General LASPEC, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, said since the inception of the contributory pension Scheme in Nigeria, Lagos State has remained focused and resolute to the ideals of the scheme, stressing that resources have been deployed to ease pension administration in the current dispensation.
According to her, structures are on ground in the pension transitional agencies i.e. TEPO, CSPO and Local Government Pensions Board to ensure that retirees under the discontinued Pay As You Go Pension get their pensions monthly at the same time salaries are paid to active workers.
“Lagos state has consistently ensured that Pension contributions are given a first line charge treatment against the State’s consolidated revenue and we are happy to note that we are the only State Government in the Federation that does not owe monthly pension contributions. Both employee and employer’s contributions are remitted into individual employee’s Retirement Savings Account after salaries are received,” she said.
The Director General urged the retirees to take time to decide which payment option between the Programmed withdrawal and Life Annuity they would prefer before subscription.
“There are different types of life annuity arrangements i.e. level or increasing annuity benefits. So please request for advice from your annuity service provider if your choice is annuity plan. For those who wish to opt for the programmed withdrawal arrangement by Pension Fund Administrators, I am happy to announce that one of the major concerns which has to do with the fact that it would appear that pension received is static during the programmed withdrawal period, has now been addressed. The National Pension Commission has released the template that allows all retirees under the programmed withdrawal arrangement to be eligible for increase in pension received based on the growth in funds under management,” she added.
The First lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, who was at the event, urged the retirees to avoid frivolity, adding that the state government is resolute to make the pension scheme work.
Chairman, House Committee on Establishments, Training and Pension, Hon. Adedayo Famakinwa, said the legislators will continue to appropriate adequate funds to cater for retirees in the state.