By Rosemary Onuoha
To ensure that adequate budgetary provision is made for their pension entitlements, the National Pension Commission, PenCom, has embarked on a pre-retirement verification and enrolment exercise of employees of the federal government treasury funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), due for retirement between January and December 2020.
The move is to ensure that the employees start getting their pension entitlements immediately they retire.
Unfortunately, many retirees are still waiting for the commencement of payment of their pension entitlement years after retirement, due to inadequate budgetary provision.
Although PenCom has on yearly basis sent the actual pension figure to the federal government for necessary budgetary provisioning, the figure has always been cut. Consequently, many retirees have died while waiting for their pension.
It is to eliminate such re-ocurrences that PenCom initiated the annual verification exercise with the hope that government will live up to its own part.
This year’s exercise commenced on July 1st and is scheduled to end on August 2nd, 2019.
According to PenCom, the exercise is for employees in the service of the Federal Government treasury funded MDAs, who are due to retire from service between January and December 2020 by virtue of attaining the applicable maximum age or length of service, whichever is earlier.
Accordingly, affected employees are required to personally go along with the original of their letter of first appointment; evidence of transfer of service and acceptance (where applicable); birth certificate or declaration of age; letter/evidence of promotion to the grade level as at June 2004; letter/evidence of all promotions obtained from 2004 to date; letter of introduction from the MDA; staff identity card; authenticated past record of service; letter/evidence of retirement (applicable to those who have retired; mandatorily/voluntarily/disengaged /termination and yet to enroll with the Commission); letter of indemnity from the MDA stating non-payment of retirement benefits (applicable to those who retired/disengaged before 2009); evidence of registration with a Pension Fund Administrator indicating Retirement Savings Account Personal Identification Number (PIN); evidence of National Identification Number (NIN); evidence of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
PenCom said, “We also require that Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) of each MDA should be available at the designated centres to authenticate the documents and endorse the retirement bond registration form of each potential retiree from his/her MDA.
“Medically unfit employees are exempted from the physical enrolment. However, Pension Desk Officers of the medically unfit employees are advised to come along with a letter from a suitably qualified physician or medical board certifying that the employee is no longer physically or mentally capable of carrying out the functions of his/her office in addition to documents listed above.”
Speaking at the Lagos venue after his verification, Prof. Ajeyalemi Duro (WHO IS HE?) urged President Mohammadu Buhari to ensure that adequate budgetary provision is allocated to pension and to ensure that authorities charged with the responsibility of overseeing pensioners’ fund do not embezzle it.
Mrs. Bello Fadaka, the Deputy Registrar, University of Lagos, after her verification, commended PenCom on the thorough process.
She, however urged the commission to ensure that states that are yet to join Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) do so to avoid unwarranted elongation of gratuity payments.