December 30, 2021

FG releases N16.7bn for 2021 MDAs’ pensions

Nigeria’s pension assets grow by over 3%

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The Federal Government has released N16.67 billion for the payment of Accrued Pension Rights to 2021 retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

In a terse statement yesterday the National Pension Commission, PenCom, stated:    “The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is pleased to announce the release of N16.67 billion by the Federal Government for the payment of Accrued Pension Rights to 2021 retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

“The Federal Government had earlier settled all arrears of accrued pension rights payments to the verified and enrolled retirees up to December 2020.”

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Recall that no fewer than 190,158 retirees of MDAs were last month paid N884.58 billion as accrued pension rights from the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, till December 31, 2020.

According to the Commission’s yearly report for 2020 posted on its website, the Federal Government released N65, 909,343,247.5 into the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund, RBBRF, account for the payment of accrued rights to retirees MDAs.

The report said:    “As a result of this, the Commission approved the release/remittance of the entire amount to the RSAs of 11,385 retirees and deceased employees of treasury-funded MDAs.”

Also, according to PenCom, the government released N11.82 billion for payment of accrued pension rights of retirees under its MDAs in January.

The Commission, in July, notified all its stakeholders, particularly retirees of treasury-funded MDAs that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved its submission on the payment of some critical aspects of the outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the CPS.

According to PenCom, the settlement of the outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled FGN retirees and compliance with the reviewed rate of pension contributions are significant developments that have resolved the challenges in these aspects that have lingered since 2014.

The Commission had on July 26 informed that N5 billion would be disbursed the next day (July 27, for payment of the 2.5 per cent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for Federal Civil Service retirees and employees.

The minimum pension contribution for employers was increased from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act, PRA 2014.

However the federal government failed to implement it all along but continued to remit 7.5 per cent for its employees.

The Commission, however, stated that the payment would be from 2019 to December 2020, while indicating that the backlog would be cleared in unspecified later date.

Speaking at the 2021 annual seminar for journalists in Lagos, Head, Contribution & Bond Redemption Department of PenCom, Mr. Saleem AbdulRahman, said that the Commission would  also pay the accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that retired but were yet to be paid their retirement benefits.

AbdulRahman said : “The    federal government released about N5 billion for the payment of the 2.5 per cent differential which will be paid into the Retirement Savings Account, RSA, of employees.

“The    money will also get to respective retires. Some may likely get additional lump sum, some might likely get advanced monthly withdrawal pension, active employees will get the 2.5 per cent. This is only for treasury funded employees and retirees.”

Vanguard News Nigeria