PenCom’s Director-General Chinelo Anohu-Amazu
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Chuks Udo Okonta
John Peter not real name, retired from one of the Federal Government’s agencies and had N6 million in Retirement Savings Account (RSA) and was paid N1.4 million as lump-sum and the balance N4.6 million was used to procure programmed withdrawal to enable him earn monthly pensions. But considering what his peers who retired before him earned monthly, he felt he was short-changed, as his is far below.
Narrating his ordeal, he said when the New-Pension-Scheme took-off in the year 2007, there were many things that the planners did not think of, that were today of disadvantages to the scheme and must be corrected if the injustice were not just deliberate.
The Take-Home-Pay of all the retirees were very small because bulk of the payment from each employer of federal government workers were to be retained by the Pension-Managers; in-order to be able to pay the monthly-allowance.
When I retired, I had N6 million in my RSA, while l got N1.4 million as My-Take-Home-Pay.
It wasn’t the case with the Old-Pensioners, they went home with their Full-Payment and continue to get the Monthly-Retirement-Benefits with Promotional-Adjustments anytime it occurred.
Recently, in the year 2014; there was 33 per cent Increase-Package-Payment to the Old-Pensioners; yet no provision were made for us the New-Pensioners and we both served the same Fed. Govt.
When we retired in year 2007, the Management of our organisation did not thought it fit to give us Pensioners any “Parting-Gift” nor “Send Us Off” as it should be for any loyal-worker nor give us any Chrismas-Gift at the year-end; while Old-Pensioners enjoyed these benefits.
We just became “An Outsiders” to the organisation and government that we served in our country Nigeria; just because our affairs had been passed over to the New Pension Managers.
It might surprise you that “The Old Pensioners Association” did not also see us as colleagues, just because our affairs had been passed to some outsiders known as Pension Fund Mangers, therefore, we MUST and HAVE to carry our cross.
This is one of the challenges operators and officers of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) face as they are confronted by retirees who want better pay out of their retirement benefits.
To address this challenge, PenCom, has urged retirees to forestall the quest of withdrawing huge funds from their retirement savings balance so that they can have robust monthly pension.
The Head, Research & Corporate Strategy PenCom, Farouk Aminu, said many retirees have burnt their fingers with such decisions, adding that the quest to withdraw huge amounts at retirement, leaving little in the account is responsible for the little monthly pension some retirees receive.
He called on retirees to take less lump-sum payout if they don’t have need for much financial needs, stressing that less lump-sum will help them keep more money in their accounts.
“People should take less lump sum unless they need it. If they do not need it, they should not take it. It is important people really understand this. The more lump sum you take the less money you leave in your RSA and the lower your pension.
“People take much of their money and blow it and expect the little they left to perform wonders. People should leave a lot of money behind so that they can have huge pension,” he said.