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Chuks Udo Okonta
Lagos State Government has paid more than N80 billion into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of active workforce since the commencement of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) dispensation in 2007, the Commissioner, Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke, has said.
He disclosed this today at the 13th Retirement Benefits Documentation Seminar organised by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) in Lagos, adding that the payment excludes remittance from parastatals.
He maintained that in the last 25 months, the state government has paid accrued pension rights of approximately N30,658 billion into the RSA of 7,522, stressing that the state remains the only state in the federation that is up to date in its monthly remittances into serving employees’ RSA.
The Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, noted that in the last two years, the state under the leadership of Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has witnessed dramatic changes.
She noted that it is desire of the government and LASPEC to see that retirees in the state live comfortably in retirement. She urged the would be retirees to begin to think what they could do to keep themselves busy in retirement.
She encouraged them to commence voluntary pension contributions so that they would have something to fall back on before they begin to draw their pension benefits.
In the vain, the State Government had approved the release of N710 million to pay another batch of retirees who are 153 in number for the month of October, 2017.
Speaking at the 44th batch of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony held on Tuesday, 31st October in Ikeja, the Hon. Commissioner, Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke who represented the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said that the Lagos State Government, despite its commitment to the welfare of the active workforce and pensioners in respect of salaries and pensions, has undertaking a wide range of reforms that have improved governance, reduced crime, and helped to bring millions out of poverty.
He said that in 26 months i.e. from August 2015 to October, 2017, the State Government through LASPEC has paid accrued pension rights in the sum of N31, 822.560 billion into the RSA of 7,677 retirees. This is aside from the mandatory 15 per cent contributions which the Government remits monthly into the Retirement Savings Account of all the State employees.
Onanuga said that this administration has continued to bolster the living standards and socio-economic well-being of the ordinary citizen despite the fact that it has over 200 billion pension liabilities for Lagos State.
She advised the Pensioners to be wary of Pension fraudsters, who present themselves in different forms, take very good care of their health, and desist from spending on frivolities amongst others.
She was also quick to educate the retirees on the importance of collecting their statement of accounts from their Pension Fund Administrators so as to know if they have missing months. She also sensitized them on the creation of Oracle HR application field for Additional Voluntary Contributions.
This will be very useful for those still in active service, for it will guarantee more comfortable life for them when they retire. “The funds are invested and can be accessed immediately by a retiree on retirement. It can also be used to boost pension received in retirement”. She prayed that the retirees will not go hungry.