• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Old pension: With PTAD, most federal pensioner’s woes are over

PTAD eyes 2024 for new pension review

The coming on board of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) established by the Pension Reform Act 2004, as amended in 2014 has brought to end many of the crises facing federal civil service pensioners in the old pension scheme, called the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).

This is coming from the position that, out of the 129,999 pensioners inherited by PTAD at inception in 2013 on the old scheme, 115,313 have been verified, and 107,785 are now in payroll and collecting their pensions regularly.

According to PTAD, the difference between the number in payroll and the number inherited is a fall out of payroll clean-up activities, using BVN between November 2016 and April 2018, which identified ghost pensioners, while some others have issues with their identities.

The success of PTAD is also inclusive of full payment of inherited 33 percent pension increment and facilitation/payment of recently approved minimum pensions.

According to the management of PTAD, the agency has also created a reliable database for civil service pensioners and initiated a decent digital/physical archiving solution.

Chioma Ejikeme, executive secretary of PTAD speaking during a media workshop with journalists in Lagos said, the agency has worked assiduously to change the narrative of pension administration in Nigeria, especially under the Defined Benefits Scheme, and we are proud to see that the hard work has yielded and has continued to yield positive results.

Ejikeme said prior to the inception of PTAD in 2013, the payment of pensioners under the DBS was marred by a lot of anomalies resulting in all sorts of corruption to the detriment of the pensioners.

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Ejikeme, represented by Kabiru Yusuf, director, Parastatals Pension Department of PTAD said in terms of credibility and sanity in the pension system, PTAD had recorded a lot of achievements and is still doing a lot.

She noted that all the issues inherent have been resolved through verification and validation, as over N7billion has been saved through use of BVN in its verification of pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme.

“The N7 billion hitherto went to settling dead or ghost pensioners, and the exercises got rid of 19,018 retirees who had been receiving monthly pension benefits from the Federal Government, ” she said.

Sulayman Shelleng, director, Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD) in his presentation at the workshop said a robust pension system can reduce the spate of corruption in public service, if not completely eradicated.

Shelleng, speaking on the theme “Overview of the Civil Service Pension Department said if we strengthen the pension system, the corruption in public service will reduce.

He said the Directorate was aware of the fact that sharp practices in the civil service in the past were encouraged by the terrible condition which retired civil servants got into shortly after their active service mainly because of failure to arrange a befitting pension package for them.

He said as a result, when those still in active service saw the poor condition of their predecessors shortly after active service, they were tempted to steal public funds to make ends meet.

According to him, an adequate pension arrangement in place will give confidence to the workers still in active service that there would be pension at retirement therefore no need stealing public funds.

The Federal Government established PTAD in August 2013 in compliance with the provisions of the repealed Pension Reform Act of 2004, as amended in 2014.

Its establishment was necessitated by the need to reform the old pension offices, which operated under the defined benefits scheme. Prior to 2004, all government pensions were paid under a defined benefit scheme, which was underfunded and poorly managed.

PTAD is currently attending to the retirement needs of federal government workers who retired on or before July 30, 2007.