By Nana Musa
The House of Representatives Committee on Pensions on Wednesday summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to explain why the Governing Board for National Pension Commission (PenCom) was not constituted.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) however, reports that no date was given for the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha to appear before the committee.
The Committee Chairman, Hon. Kabiru Rurum gave the summon at the ongoing public hearing/investigation held for stakeholders on the non-remittance of pension contributions by some employers in Abuja.
The public hearing was also to investigate delays of nonpayment of pension entitlements to retirees by pension fund administrators, non adherence and compliance to the provisions of the pension reform Act 2014 by relevant government authorities.
The Chairman, represented by Hon. Mansur Soro said a date would be communicated to the SGF.
He said that the committee was established to protect the rights of pensioners.
“What is the government doing concerning PenCom governing board,’’ he asked.
Rurum said if there was an existing board most of the problems in the pension scheme would have been resolved.
He urged PenCom to monitor Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) on the delay in the payment of retirees and relax unnecessary requirements.
Rurum also advised PFAs to sharpen their communications with the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to know what they were contributing, and their current account status among others.
Earlier, the Corps Marshal of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, said the commission was grappling with its retirees non-satisfaction with the calculated lump sum released to them on retirement by their PFAs.
According to him, the FRSC is also not comfortable with the delay in payment of pension contributions of its retired employees by relevant authorities.
Oyeyemi, represented by a Deputy Corps Marshal, Shehu Zaki said there were unnecessary conditions placed on retirees and their next of kin before they could access pension contributions or deaths benefit.
“They request for obituary posters, utility bills and other documents regardless of their peculiar circumstances or remoteness of their location.’’
Oyeyemi urged PFAs to be opened to retirees on parameters used by them in calculating the statutory lump sum, adding that proactive actions should be taken by relevant authorities in processing pension benefits of employees.
He also said that some requirements by PFAs could be avoided while processing retirees pension benefits and employees death benefits.
The acting Director-General of PenCom, Hajiya Aishat Umar, said that the payment of lump sum was in line with the provision of Pension Reform Act 2014.
Umar, represented by Mrs Ekaneam Aikhomu, also said that pension retirees should be paid pension equivalent of 50 per cent of their last salaries and the balance paid as lump sum.
“Payment of the lump sum is based on what has been accumulated over time in the RSA,’’ she said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the PFAs were instructed to go and amend their presentations and come back on March 19 for representation of their submissions. (NAN)