‘RSG Failed In Pension Contribution’
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Rivers State Council has called for the abrogation of the State Pension Laws in order to enable the government plan a formidable one that will accommodate both present and future pensioners and retirees in the state.
State Secretary of the Union, Comrade Joseph Agbo who made the call while exchanging views with our correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt on the stand of his union on the Rivers State Pension Reform Bill 2019, said the public hearing on the issue by the Rivers State House of Assembly was a welcome development.
Agbo said it was unfortunate that after a civil servant has put in 35 years of service and his money has been deducted from source in the name of pension his retirement benefits still can’t be accessed.
He asserted that if the laws were being repealed, it would allow the state government to properly plan a new system that would favour both those that were employed before 2004 who fall under the Defined Benefit Scheme and those from 2004 till date that fall under the Contributory Pension Scheme, adding that the employment letters of most civil servant has it that they are employed on pensionable positions and should be treated as such.
The NUP state scribe noted with regret that after the state government had deducted seven and half percent from their workers at source they failed to contribute their quota to the Pension Fund Administrators which had been the issue, stressing that government had failed in their obligation for not paying and appealed to them pay the pensioners and retirees as at when due.
He noted that some retires who had committed their biometrics had not been paid and can no longer take care of their family responsibilities including paying rent and medical bills and school fees.
“It is not possible as every civil servant depends on retirement benefit after service and it appears that government does not know the problems of workers in the state.”
Agbo reiterated that those who retired from 2015 till date have not been paid their entitlements based on the failure of government to honour their own side of the obligation, advantage that the agitation to amend the Contributory Pension Act of 2009 is in order to accommodate those who also retired since 2009 to March 31, 2018.
He however suggested that the Defined Pension Scheme was better as government takes total responsibility of retirees’ entitlements after their years of meritorious service to the government of the state.