BY CHARLES KUMOLU
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, has advised the Delta State Bureau for State Pension to put in place stronger regulatory and supervisory framework aimed at securing and ensuring compliance with the overall goal of empowering the workers on retirement.
Dr. Uduaghan who gave the advice during the 2014 Annual Lecture Series of Delta State Bureau for State Pension in conjunction with Premium Limited, NLPC Pension Managers and OAK Pensions, at Asaba, noted that the embezzlement of funds at the federal level, had made glaring that the contributory pension scheme, CPS, also had its unique challenges to contend with and urged the bureau to make the CPSa success and to inspire excellence and qualitative performance.
Represented by his deputy, Professor Amos Utuama, SAN, the governor asserted that the Theme of this year lecture, Contributory Pension Scheme in the Delta State Public Service: Its Myths, Realities, the Prospects was most apt selected to address the knowledge gap about the new pension scheme, that it would deal with issues affecting a very special group of the citizenry who happens to be the retirees.
He highlighted that the CPS was established in the state through an Executive decision in 2007, which was later reinforced by the passage of a Pension Reform Law in 2008.
He added that the law came into effect with government’s decision to move from the old pension scheme -Pay As You Earn- to the contributory scheme, where both employer and employee were to contribute a specified percentage of the employees’ total monthly emoluments towards their retirement.
According to him; “Before 2004, the Nigerian Pension system was characterized by myriads of operational inadequacies and constraints. But with the enactment of the Pension Reform Act of 2004, public service pension has become standardised with the objectives of ensuring that every worker receives his retirement benefits as and when due, assisting workers to save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age and establing a sustainable and transparent system”. In a keynote address, the Delta State Head of Civil Service, Sir Okey Ofili, noted that the change to the CP S involving the joint contribution by both employee and employer with promulgation of the Pension Reform Act of 2004 was done with a good cause and urge all to join hands together to make it work.
Ofili highlighted the objectives of the scheme as contained in Section 2 of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 among others which includes ensuring that every person who worked in the Public Service of the Federation or private sector receives his or her benefits as and when due.
He said it also established a uniform set of rules, regulations and standard for the administration and payments of retirement benefits for the Public service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory and the Private Sector.