The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has approved 3, 280 applications for payment of retirement benefit under life annuity plan.
The commission, in its 2018 first quarter report posted on its website, said the 3,280 retirees received N3.61 billion as lump sum payment and were paid annuity premium of N17.96 billion to insurance companies.
This, PenCom said accumulated to a total of N63.91 billion and N259.58 billion as lump sum and annuity payments respectively.
It said the approved annuity applications for the quarter under review increased the total number of retirees receiving their retirement benefits through the annuity plan to 51,819.
According to the report, PenCom said the retirees were receiving average monthly annuity of N2.70 billion as at the end of March.
On retirees under Programmed Withdrawal, (PW) it said “the total number of retirees currently receiving their pensions under the PW increased by 3.79 per cent from 174,186 in fourth quarter of 2017 to 180,783 in first quarter of 2018.
“The sectorial breakdown shows that 51.60 per cent of those that retired under the PW during the quarter under review were from the public sector while retirees from the private sector accounted for the remaining 48.40 per cent’’, It stated.
PenCom said N19.25 billion was paid to 6,597 as lump sum and N0.25 billion as monthly programmed withdrawals during the quarter.
The commission said from inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to date, a total of 180,783 retirees had been paid the sum of N467,98 billion as lump sum and N6.14 billion as average monthly programmed withdrawals.
On withdrawal of 25 per cent of Retirement Saving Account (RSA) balances, PenCom said during the quarter, approval was granted for payment of N4.97 billion to 12,772 RSA holders.
It said the RSA holders were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and were unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement.
The commission said the cumulative total number of disengaged RSA holders who were paid 25 per cent was 263,093 and were paid N87.54 billion from inception to date.
It said a further analysis on the payment of disengaged RSA holders showed that the private sector accounted for 95.60 percent while the public sector accounted for 4.40 percent.
On approval of death benefits, the commission approved payment of N8.00 billion as death benefits to the beneficiaries of 2,173 deceased employees during the quarter under review.
This, it said brought the total number of deceased employees from both public and private sectors to 47,682.
It said the amount paid during the quarter moved the total payments of death benefits to N146.90 billion including life insurance.
On guideline for Voluntary Contribution, (VC) it said PenCom was finalising the guidelines.
It added that the guidelines covered the eligibility criteria, rules of general application, procedures for VCs and the procedure for withdrawals from VCs.
It said a circular had earlier been released in November, 2017 on the withdrawals from VCs, adding that the circular was necessitated by the observed incidence of withdrawals from VCs by pension contributors.
The incessant withdrawals from VC, PenCom said appeared to negate the main purpose of augmenting pensions at retirement.
Meanwhile, Some Federal Government retirees, who retired in October in 2017, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were yet to be paid their entitlements one year after retirement.
The retirees, who fall under the Define Benefit Scheme,(DBS) and the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) said their Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) were yet to receive their accrued rights contributed in the DBS.
They urged the Federal Government, via the Ministry of Finance to release their outstanding accrued rights to PenCom for the payment of their benefits.
However, a source from PenCom confirmed that government was releasing the accrued rights in batches, noting that the last release was made in August.