The Lagos State government has paid accrued pension rights of over N28 billion into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of 6,509 retirees in the last 22 months, Commissioner, Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr Akintola Benson, has said.
Speaking at the 12th Retirement Benefits Documentation Seminar (RBDS) organised by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) for employees due to retire from the state public service between July and December this year, he said the government has continued to remit money into the officers’ account.
He added that an approximate N62 billion has been paid into the RSAs of about 13,000 retirees since the commencement of the payment of entitlements in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
He said: ”Indeed, we are proud to note that Lagos State remains the only state in the federation that is up to date in its monthly remittances into serving employees’ RSAs.
“ The RBDS comes up bi-annually and this being the 12th in the series shows that it is a tradition which has come to stay and its importance cannot be underestimated. This seminar is put together for the core civil servants and other employees in the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Teachers’ Establishment & Pensions Office (TEPO), government parastatals and local government staff, who will be retiring from the state’s public service between July and December, 2017.”
LASPEC Director-General Mrs Folashade Onanuga added that government remains disciplined in the area of compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Law as it relates to contributions remittances.
She noted that the government is aware that there are pockets of parastatals who have challenges of compliance.
“The attention of the government has been brought to this and commitment obtained from the management of these agencies that efforts will be made to comply failing which the government will wade into sanctioning the management of the erring parastatals.
“On the issue of funding the accrued pension rights, without which, you will not be able to access your retirement savings account and draw your lump sum and monthly pension, the state government’s commitment is also unparalleled.
“The Retirement Benefit Bond Fund Account is funded monthly with five per cent of employees’ salary as stated in the law. However, due to the inadequacy of the funding rate as revealed when the state government carried out the actuarial valuation exercise, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has graciously provided pension bailout funds to meet the obligations. As we had a backlog before his intervention, the equitable thing to do is to clear the backlog first then ensure payment to subsequent retirees,” she added.
She further noted that the state government has invested a lot in LASPEC and it operates an e-environment to ensure that it offers seamless service delivery to the retirees.
“We have introduced the Employees Retirement Evaluation System (ERES) to aid and facilitate the benefit payment process.
“This software is to hasten the process of computing the past service benefit of retirees with minimal human intervention and zero percent error rate.
“We have also initiated and perfected the electronic archiving of records of payments made to retirees of the state for preservation and protection of records. We are in the process of finalising the retiree identification card issuance process,” she added.