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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the Federal Government to issue bailout for the settlement of pensioners, as done to workers whose states could not pay salaries.
The Lagos State Chairman of NUP, Joseph Dele, who said this in Lagos, urged the governments to urgently look into the plights of pensioners, who he said are undergoing tough times due to the present economy maladies.
According to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), from 2014 to date, there has been a decline in budgetary provision in funding the Retirement Benefit Bonds Redemption Fund (RBBF) account and the remittance of monthly contribution, adding that sum of N20.07 Billion is required to pay all outstanding accrued benefits for deceased and mandatory retirees of the Federal Government for the periods October to December 2015 and the sum of N79.16 Billion has been computed as the arrears of 15 per cent pension increase owed to 79,961 Federal Government retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at December, 2014.
PenCom also noted that N50.20 Billion was provided for the 2016 FGN Budgetary Appropriation for the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) Account presented to the National Assembly, compared to the Commission’s projection of N91.91 Billion, resulting in a shortfall of N41.71 Billion.
The commission maintained that the Federal Government is also yet to commence the implementation of the revised 18 per cent minimum pension contributions for its employees as stipulated under Section 4 of the PRA 2014.
PenCom said from the inception of the pension reform in 2004, the Federal Government had been religiously implementing the Contributory Pension Scheme by payment of monthly contributions of its employees in a dedicated account in the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Contributory Pension Account.
It noted that the Federal Government was equally making payment of five per cent of its monthly wage bill into the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account for the payment of the accrued pension rights of its employees who had worked under the old Defined Benefits Scheme and transited to the CPS.