National Pension Commission (PenCom) will need the sum of N41.71 billion for the funding of the 2016 Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF) for retirees of the Federal Government service.
This is because, of the sum of N91.91 billion budgeted by PenCom as requirement for the funding of the RBBRF Account in the 2016 Federal Government budget, the National Assembly appropriated only the sum of N50.20 billion, leaving a shortfall of N41.71 billion.
According to the Executive Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy, Barr Ivor Takor, who expressed concern over the situation in his presentation in Lagos, blamed it on lack of sufficient money in the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria which he said is the current cause for the delays in paying the pension of retired Federal Public Servants.
He called on Federal Government to provide a bailout fund for PenCom to make up for the shortfall in order to ameliorate the suffering of the retirees.
“We are gradually returning to the pre pension reform era, where under the Defined Benefit Scheme, retired public servants and pensioners were not sure when their retirement benefits and pensions will be paid,” he said.
“The question therefore is what can be done to avoid the drift to the inglorious past, in the face of current economic challenges facing the nation.
The “bailout” of these categories of public servants has to take the form of immediate remittance into the Retirement Savings Accounts of employees of Federal Public Servants.”
Ivor said failure to remit the arrears of contributions; amount to non-compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014 by the Federal Government, which according to him amount to robbing Federal Public Servants.
Secondly, he said the government should make sufficient payment into the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that retiring Federal Public Servants are paid their retirement benefits as at when due in line with the objectives of the Contributory Pension Scheme.