By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—MINISTER of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has asked military retirees not to misunderstand recent approval of harmonisation of pensions by President Muhammadu Buhari as an increment.
Rather, he explained that the development was a deliberate effort to relatively bridge the existing gap in pensions pay structure between certain ranks among retirees of post and pre-consolidated salary period.
Speaking at the military pensions stakeholders interactive session in Abuja yesterday, the minister, who said the welfare of military retirees was of utmost concern to the present administration, disclosed that efforts were being made by the government to ameliorate the sufferings of the retirees.
One of the efforts, according to him, is the exemption of the Armed Forces from the Contributory Pension Scheme, hinting that the Forces had since reverted to the Defined Benefit Scheme.
But he regretted, however, that the Defined Benefit Scheme system, under the old Armed Forces Pension Decree of 1979, had its drawback, given that most of its provisions were obsolete and not in conformity with current economic realities.
Dan-Alli said the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with the Defence Headquarters and the Military Pensions Board, were making efforts to re-present the bill for an act to amend the Armed Forces Pension Act.