Pensioners declare loss of confidence in contributory pension scheme, gives FG ultimatum

PENSIONERS under the umbrella body of Nigerian Union of Pensioners Contributory Pension Scheme (NUPCPS) on Monday said that its members have lost confidence in the contributory pension scheme as a result of the Federal Government’s inconsistent and discriminatory handling of the scheme.

NUPCPS also decried the non-payment of outstanding pension increase entitlements of 15 percent of 2007, 33 percent of 2010 and the consequential adjustment of pension of the national minimum wage of 2019 owed to its members by the Federal Government.

The pensioners, who converged on the Conference Hall of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja and led by its National Chairman, Comrade Sylvanus  Nwaiwu, decried the “inconsistent and discriminatory manner the Federal government is handling the (Contributory Pension) scheme.”

Nwaiwu said that not only does the government undermine the rights of the CPS retirees, but that pension operators have followed suit. He hinted that members of the union have not received the recently announced release of funds for payment for 2.5 percent employer different arrears of the National Pension Commission (Pencom).

“The agreed conditions and terms between the government (as employer) and Nigerian workers guiding the Contributory Pension policy have been grossly violated, reneged upon, and abused by the Federal Government as a party.

“We have lost confidence in the scheme due to the inconsistent and discriminatory manner the government (as employer) is handling the scheme. For instance, since 2019, to say the least, there has been a recycling budget line in the annual budget of the National Pension Commission (Pencom) for the payment of outstanding pension liabilities to CPS retirees without any release of funds to that effect.

“Our suspicion is that this method is being employed to stop the unsuspecting CPS retirees from engaging in any public protest for the payment of their pension increase entitlements in the belief that provision has been made for it in the budget.

“Retirees under the CPS have come here today to tell fellow Nigerians that as a result of the government’s inconsistency and discriminatory implementation of the contributory pension scheme policy, we have lost confidence in the scheme.

“And except all their outstanding pension increase entitlements are paid to them before the end of the first quarter of this year, all civil servants, both serving and retired, will have no other option than to pull out of the CPS and to request to be reverted to the old Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) forthwith.

“We call on the leaders of organised labour in Nigeria to know that ‘a worker today is tomorrow’s retiree’ and to therefore stand up and prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare a state of emergency on pensions to right the wrongs going on in Nigeria’s pension industry.

“We call on all the anti-corruption agencies to investigate from 2019 to date if there were any release of funds by the Federal Government for the payment of pension increase arrears to retirees under the CPS and what happened to the funds (if any release of funds) including the N700 billion government’s bonds in 2022, which was made public as being raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) for the payment of all entitlements to retirees under the CPS, amongst others.”



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