PenCom Tackles Hiccups in Retirement Benefit Assessment

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Ebere Nwoji

As part of efforts to ensure easy access to Pension retirement benefit among public and private sector employees, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), recently organised workshops for pension desk officers in government agencies.

The workshops, which took place in Lagos and Kaduna were targeted at human capacity building among the desk officers whom the commission said are very close to the employees and understand their problem areas on pension issues.

Head, Corporate Communication PenCom, Mr. Peter Aghahowa said that the workshop’ which was meant to address nominal role issues among government employees, has been expanded this year to address other issues concerning Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
He said similarly, the workshop, will also be expanded next year to include private sector desk officers.

Speaking on the objective of the workshop, Aghahowa said: “This kind of forum is meant to interact with pension fund desk officers. They are critical stake holders in Contributory Pension Scheme. We want to use the forum to educate them on developments in pension system and to get feedback from them because they are the pension officers in various government institution, they are the ones that interact with the employees one on one. So this forum is a very important one to us and we take it very serious, we want to use the forum to bring them up to date with developments in the pension system,” he said.

Also speaking on the topic “Process of Retirement under the Contributory Pension Scheme, a member of the contribution bond redemption department of PenCom , Patience Uzoma, highlighted the components of employee retirement under the CPS as accrued pension right, which represents an employee’s benefit for past years of service from the date of his/her first appointment to 30 June, 2004,adding that this is determined by applying the rules under the old pension scheme – (Defined Benefit Scheme).

She also highlighted monthly pension contributions (MPC) component which are the total monthly contributions of both employer and employee from July 2004 to the month of retirement based on applicable grade levels/steps and salary structure(s) and also include income earned on the contributions, Mandatory Contractual Retirement which states the retirement age and ranges from 60 years in the Public Sector,65 years for Academic and non-Academic staff of Tertiary Institution,,70 years for Professors and retirement from service on attainment of maximum allowable length of service (35 years in the public sector each employee open Retirement Savings Account (RSA).