Elusive Contributory Pensions :PFAs Deceived Dead Retirees-Prof. Olagoke

ProfNigerian retirees who served their fatherland in the three tiers of government are now faced with the reality of the present time.

While in government service, certain amounts were deducted monthly from the source of their legitimate earnings and labelled contributory pension deductions.

However, in several states these pension deductions were not remitted to the Pension Fund Administrators(PFA) and has resulted in the pensioners’ inability to access money for their daily sustenance.

In addition accruals which are supposed to be paid by the Federal Government are not forthcoming.

With no respite in sight for the precarious situation, the pensioners lament that a sizable number of them have passed on to the world beyond, as a result of their inability to collect their entitlements.

In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the Pension Fund Administrators only deceived the workers to register for the scheme, that has resulted in the the death of several of them after serving their fatherland all their lives.

What do you think can be done to salvage pension deductions of retirees by states which failed to remit same to the Pension Fund Administrators(PFA) ?

In 2004, the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the contributory pension fund.

This was considered to be better than the old process for the payment of pensions and gratuity by government.

Those who joined government service during or before 2004, perfectly fell into this category. For those who had joined before 2004, the service of the Federal or State Governments, their pension funds, after retirement, had to go through the process of reconciliation.

However, some states failed to join at the time of its commencement, while some are also yet to join the scheme as of now.

For the states that are yet to join the new scheme, retirees have up till now been contending with a lot of difficulties, when it comes to getting their pensions as and when due, while thousands are still been owed their gratuities, which are very huge amounts.

In the process of unnecessary delay from government, many retirees have died because of lack of funds to take care of themselves, particularly, feeding and health condition.

If not for the delay in getting their rights and the fruits of their labor, they wouldn’t have encountered the Waterloo of untimely deaths.

These deaths are preventable.

As commendable as the new scheme is, workers prior to their retirement, face a great deal of discriminatory deductions from their employers, when they compare notes with their colleagues from sister places of work, depicting that even before retirement they’ve been putting up with the trauma of playing games with their salaries.

Pension 2The institution pays 15 per cent of the workers’ salaries, while the Federal Government pays the remaining 15 per cent into the same purse of the workers for their future glorious exit from service or for a better retirement period.

Unfortunately, even while at work, workers have been very much confused about the truth regarding the myth surrounding the deduction process saga, but they were powerless to resolve issues, even through their so called unions.

The Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) usually raise the hopes of the intending retirees, through various sensitization programmes, but this is within the limits of what their organizations can divulge as necessary information for the intending retirees.

In Nigeria life after retirement, usually snow balls into that of frustration, most especially when one experiences unnecessary delay due to lack of the much needed information that could show the stage of development of the processes, regarding the exact time, one’s accrued rights of entitlements would come and the possible amount both for your pension, for a lifetime savings and for gratuity for a lifetime venture and planning.

PensionThe fifth column in every bank is another headache for the retirees, when the issue of their safety and security is taken into consideration, when the amount eventually arrives.

The delay been experienced by several pensioners, has prompted members of the public to call for the need for transparency in the calculation of their final entitlements.

Government on it own must try as much as possible to work on the delays, to disabuse the minds of the public on the fact that politicians in power, usually disregard, the ethical principle of the no go area for the retirees pool of accrued substantial amount of funds, that is meant for their sustenance, after a meritorious service to their fatherland.

Nigeria Prof. Sabitu Olagoke Pensions Pension Fund Administrators

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