By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said it has commenced the final arrangements for the verification of prospective retirees from the public service nationwide.

It also said the impending exercise necessitated the need to undertake adequate sensitisation and public enlightenment for would be retirees on the right steps to take towards a hitch free retirement life.

The Acting Director General,  National Pension Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar,  disclosed this in Benin City,  in her opening remarks at a workshop for those due to retire from the federal Civil service next year under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

According to the Acting Director who was represented by Mrs Ekanem Aikhomu, the verification exercise had been scheduled to take place from25th June to 17 August, 2018 in 15 centres across the country.

The impending exercise, she said, necessitated the need to undertake adequate sensitisation and public enlightenment in order to prepare prospective retirees on the steps to take towards a hitch free retirement life.

She declared: “I am delighted to welcome you to this important sensitisation Workshop organised for intending retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). We consider contributors who are about to join the CPS retirees as very important stakeholders.

“On behalf of the management and staff of the Commission, I wish to convey our profound appreciation to you for finding it worthwhile to honor our invitation to attend this Pre-Retirement Workshop. Your presence today heightens the confidence you repose in PenCom as the Regulator of pensions in Nigeria.

“You will recall that one of the salient objectives of the Pension Reform Act (PRA 2014) is to make pension administration transparent and seamless”.

The acting Director General, further informed that the commission has established uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for all aspects of pension administration, including payment of retirement benefits to retirees.

This, she noted was achieved through issuance of Regulation on Administration of Retirement and Terminal Benefits; Regulation on Retire Life Annuity; the Frameworks on Pension Enhancement & Programmed Withdrawals; and the Circular on Voluntary Contributions amongst others.

“Deliberations at this workshop is tailored towards addressing the challenges that prospective retirees might face as they enter retirement life under the CPS”, she further declared.

While urging participants to feel free to make suggestions during and after the workshop, about issues that may further help to make retirement life more comfortable for them and future retirees, the PenCom boss, noted that the achievements recorded by the commission in the last 14 years would not have been possible without the support and understanding of all stakeholders, “especially you, our esteemed contributors who are about to retiree”.