BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
The Lagos State government has presented retirement bond worth N3.5 billion to 780 retirees of the state. Also, the state government said, so far, 2,604 retirees have been paid N14.5 billion under the state’s Contributory Pension Scheme.
While presenting the certificates to the beneficiaries in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola said the retirement savings account of each recipient in the batch, which is the eight in the series, has already been credited with their accrued rights.
The governor stated that the new scheme, since inception has bettered the lives of retirees, affording them the peace of mind that should come with a fruitful retirement, a relief from the past experiences which subjected them to untold hardship.
Fashola, who was represented by the Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe, said,“Our experience since we began this new scheme indicates that all our retirees are currently enjoying their lives in retirement without the sad and pitiable experiences of the past where those who retired under the old Pay-As-You-Go scheme were and are still subjected to a lot of hardship.
“There is a clear difference between the Contributory Pension Scheme and the old Pay-As-You-Go system. In fulfilling our avowed commitment to making the scheme work perfectly well, we ensured that both the 7.5 percent contributions by the state government and the 7.5 percent deductions from employees’ salaries are forwarded to the custodial account of the employees nominated Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).”
Fashola added that the issue of transparency was no longer a setback as employees received monthly credit alerts while hard copies of quarterly statement of account are made available.
The governor noted that one of the biggest challenges over the years had been dealing with contingencies.
He said, “For example, what happens if more people than anticipated choose to voluntarily leave the service? Where does the money come from?
“We have taken measures to address this by financing a monthly pension sinking fund. This is in addition to the statutory five percent contributions that go into the redemption fund account. This additional sinking fund ensures that those who have to cut short their service unexpectedly, through illness or other reasons, will not be short-changed.”