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Lagos pensioners to fast for better pension scheme Thursday

Pension contribution up 14.2% in Q3 on salary raise, state’s compliance

Lagos State pensioners will begin fasting on Thursday, September 21, 2023, to demand correction of abnormalities in the contributory pension scheme.

The pensioners, under the National Union of Pensions, Contributory Pension Scheme Sector (NUPS-CPS), said the scheme has put them at a disadvantage to their colleagues under the old system.

According to Punch News, Michael Omisande, the Lagos State Chairman of NUPS-CPS, said a director under the old scheme earns above N250,000, while his counterpart in the new scheme earns an average of N70,000.

Omisande said, “A director under the old scheme earns above N250,000 whereas his counterpart in the new scheme earns an average of N70,000. The government introduced the scheme to us in Lagos state with the promise that it is going to be better.

“Lagos workers embraced it and on the arrival of the scheme, the same government removed all the indices that would make the scheme better such as gratuity, non-remittance of the accrued benefit as of 2007 into our RSA and delay of payment of bonds for three to five years. All these abnormalities made the scheme fail on arrival.”

Pensioners under the Contributory Pensions Scheme are under the new pensions scheme introduced by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004 to correct the defects of the old pensions scheme.

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Under the CPS, employees and employers are expected to contribute to the retirement savings accounts and at retirement, a percentage of the entitlement is paid while the balance is paid monthly.

Meanwhile, the old pension scheme is the Defined Benefit Scheme, where the pensioners collect gratuity and pensions for life.

He said the government had also removed all the indices that would make the scheme better, such as gratuity, non-remittance of the accrued benefit as of 2007 into their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs), and delay of payment of bonds for three to five years.

“All these abnormalities made the scheme fail on arrival,” Omisande said.

He added that some retirees who previously joined the new scheme had returned to the old scheme due to the conditions.

“By jettisoning the scheme, we are destroying the system the more having realised the structures that have been put in place and the huge resources invested in the scheme of service. We are calling on all those who ran away to come back and let us join hands together to repair the scheme for a better tomorrow.

Omisande said the pensioners would hold a gathering at 11am on Thursday in all CPS Zonal offices in the state for fasting and interdenominational prayers.

“Hence, there is a need for serious fasting and interdenominational prayers across the state to press home our demands. We appreciate the support of the National body of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, CPS Sector Nationwide, for their intention to join Lagos state in the fasting and prayers on September 21, 2023,” he said.