Retirees mount pressure on PFAs over N45bn accrued pension
Retirees are mounting pressure on Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to address issue of delay witnessed in payment of accrued pensions, an investigation by the Daily Trust has found.
Sources within PFAs said there was delay in receiving accrued pension remittances from the federal government, amounting to about N45bn since October last year, saying that development created an uneasy relationship between PFAs and retirees.
“As at today, accrued rights of some workers that retired since last year have not been remitted to PFAs,” said a source not authorised to speak on the development. “Retirees blame PFAs and the delay is trying to create a problem between PFAs and them.”
The source said that some retirees believed that there was no difference between the old scheme and the new pension schemes. It would be recalled that pensioners complaints about huge backlog of unpaid pension led to the introduction of the contributory pension scheme.
“If this problem continues to linger on, then, there is no any major difference between the old system and the contributory pension scheme,” the source said. “For instance, some retirees go as far as saying if it was in the old scheme, they knew how to pull some strings and get their money. But in the new scheme, their money is trapped in the PFAs, not knowing that we are not responsible for the delay.”
The delay in remittances of pension for as much as one year is in total disregard to the seven-day maximum gap allowed in the Pension Reform Act, 2004 (amended 2014) for remittance of pension after salaries have been paid.
Investigation revealed that this was one of the reasons the PenCom has not yet officially opened the transfer window for contributors to switch their Retirement Savings Accounts to preferred PFAs.
PFAs said backlog of unremitted pensions made it almost impossible for RSA holders to switch PFAs.
However, the federal government recently said it has “largely covered” its recurrent expenditure as at June 2016, adding that it has paid out N79.18bn as pension and gratuity within the period, representing 42.1 percent of the total amount budgeted in 2016 budget for the same purpose.
The PenCom said that the N50bn appropriated in 2016 for retirement accrued rights fell short of the N91bn required to settle the claims.