The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has disclosed that the federal government’s total arrears of pension liabilities stands at N494.12 billion as at the end of 2019.
The Acting Director-General of the Commission, Mrs. Aisha Umar-Dahir, disclosed this at the public hearing organised by the House of Representatives committee on pensions on the non-remittance of pensions by employers.
She gave the breakdown of the pension liabilities as N72.14 billion for 2017 and 2019 shortfalls of accrued pension rights and N246.06 billion for 15% and 33% pension increases. The liabilities also include N4.5 billion for shortfalls of the pension entitlements of the head of service, permanent secretaries and professors, N30.13 billion for pension protection fund/minimum pension guarantee as well as N141.3 billion for 3% increase in employer/employee pension contribution plus 2% penalty.
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A large number of retirees of the treasury-funded federal government’s MDAs under the CPS are yet to receive their retirement benefits due to delay in payment of accrued pension rights by the Federal Government”, Umar-Dahir said.
She disclosed that out of the 957 Federal Government MDAs under the CPS, only 112 self-funded MDAs have implemented the new minimum contribution rate of 10% for the employer and 8% for the employee, making it 18% of an employee’s monthly emolument.
According to her, 854 other treasury-funded MDAs are still implementing the old contribution rate of 15%, creating a backlog of 3% and 2% that must be paid as penalty. The PenCom boss appealed to lawmakers on the consistent provision in budgets to clear the liabilities as well as floating a bond through the Debt Management Office (DMO) to fund accrued rights of Federal Government retirees’ accrued rights. In his remarks, the Chairman of House of Representatives committee on pensions, Hon. Kabiru Usman Rurun, said the public hearing was convened to find solutions to the problems confronting the contributory pension scheme.
He noted that the National Assembly was concerned with alleged mismanagement of pension funds and ill-treatment of retirees.