By Lola Seriki- Idahosa, Kaduna, NorthWest, Nigeria.
In view of the many challenges being faced by the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPC) including different interpretations of some provisions of the Act by retries and over or under remittance of entitlements leading to delays in processing retirement benefits, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has converged in Kaduna to train Pension Desk Officers in order to correct the abnormalities.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop on Thursday, the acting Director General, PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar said the workshop is aimed at ensuring that pension desk officers are enlightened on the processes of the CPS to surmount the challenges.
Represented by the Head, Contribution, Remittance and Bound Department, Mr. Lana Loyinmi, the DG said, “The CPS is facing challenges including limited public awareness of the workings of the new CPS, different interpretations of some provisions of the Act by retirees, comparison of benefits under the old a new scheme by retirees.
“Other include, comparison of benefits by colleagues on similar position and different variables or data and over or under remittance of entitlement leading to delays in processing retirement benefits”
She noted that the objectives of Pension Reform Act 2014 is to among others establish uniform rules, regulations and standards for the administration and payments of retirement benefits in Nigeria and Make provision for the smooth operations of the CPS.
She said the act is also to ensure that every person who worked in either the Public Service of the FG, FCT, States and LGs or private sector receives his retirement benefits as and when due; as well as assist improvident individuals by ensuring that they save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age.
She further said that PenCom has the mandate to regulate and supervise the CPS, promote and offer technical assistance to the states and LGA in the application of the CPS and carryout public awareness campaign on the CPS which is why the commission decided to train desk officers.
The DG added, “Slow or late nominal roll submissions by MDAs, absence of PINs or incomplete or incorrect PINs, inconsistent format for Date of Appointment and Date of Exit and incorrect Salary Structure(s) are major reasons and causes of under and over remittance of CPS.
“Other are, grade levels/steps not in line with applicable salary structures, incomplete submissions i.e less than 100% of staff strength, ssubmission of correct nominal roll will translate into accurate computation and remittance of employees’ pension contributions.”
She pointed out that if these processes are adhered to, it will also eliminate the various complaints being made by employees of treasury-funded MDAs.