Workers in Lagos have called on both the executive and legislative arms of government to amend the Lagos State Contributory Pension Scheme law to meet the current reality.
Speaking through the state council of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the workers insisted that since the federal government had last year amended the Pension Reform Acts, PRA, 2004, as a result of the pension reforms where the state derived its pension law, it was time the state amended its law.
Chairman of the state NLC, Mr. Idowu Adelekun, cited the example in the PRA 2004, where the contributory ratio between employers and employees was 7.5 percent each, but in the PRA 2014, the ratio was changed to eight percent for employees and ten percent for employers.
Earlier he insisted pension system had become irreplaceable to life of workers after active work life and that it was paramount that its evolution vis-à-vis global trend be such as to give value and succour.
According to him, the state council of NLC was organizing the workshop to address some of the knotty pension issues confronting workers and management in the workplace today, saying “of note is the common practice in Nigeria where pension “check off” by employees and employers alike are statutory and where burden of enforcing payment is more skewed on workers than employers.
NLC, Lagos State Council is in receipt of numerous complaints revolving round the issue of workers paying their mandatory 7.5% as mandated by law as stated in 2004 Act, while most employers often default in complying with payment of their own mandatory 7.5% a situation that has negatively affected the ‘good’ intention of pension system.
The council views government reforms in this sector as one that should be protected for the general good of all. This is important in view of the fact that most employees neither have any meaningful retirement benefits nor earn enough during their working life to cater for their retirement.
“This is supported by several reports which conclude that pension reforms in Nigeria is faced with many challenges which include; coverage, adequacy, administrative efficiency, transparency, governance and regulation.
Hitherto, pension system in Nigeria was bedeviled by many problems but with the introduction of the Pension Reforms and culminating into the New Pension Act 2014 repealing that of 2004 Act, there seems to be a radical transformation and model shift in the pension scheme of Nigeria, how long this persist is one we need to address here today.