From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Hard times await workers on the payroll of the five South-East states of Nigeria upon retirement from service, as the government’s have failed completely to comply with or implement fully the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at March 2021. Of the five states in question, only Anambra government has recorded marked improvement.
What all the states in the zone share in common is the enactment of law establishing their various CPS.
Information gleaned from the National Pension Commission (Pencom) show that Abia State enacted Law on the CPS in 2017; Ebonyi enacted the Law on CPS in 2017 (amended the Law and forwarded to the Commission and the Commission communicated its observations on the Law to the State); Enugu enacted Law on CPS in 2014, and Imo state enacted its law on CPS in 2008.
Anambra State, which can aptly be described as the brightest star in the zone in relation to its performance, did not only enact law on CPS in 2013 (amended some sections of the Law in 2014), but went steps further to register its employees with PFAs and remitted 10 per cent employer & 5 per cent employee contributions to PenCom.
In addition, it “remitted employer pension contributions up to December 2017 and remitted employee pension contribution up to August 2020 for State employees; remitted employee and employer pension contributions up to August 2018 for Local Government employees”.
The State also “opened a Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account with a PFA, for the Local Government employees in line with the state’s Law”.
However, Anambra has the record of “Irregular funding of Accrued Pension Rights for Local Government employees”, and it’s “yet to conduct an actuarial valuation”.
According to PenCom’s record, Anambra State has “yet to establish Pension Bureau (implementation being driven by Office of the Head of Service & Joint Account Allocation Committee); It is also yet to open Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account for its employees and also yet to commence funding of the Accrued Pension Rights for State Employees. The state has “yet to institute a Group Life Insurance Policy”.
Aside enacting Law on the CPS in 2017, Abia State has “yet to establish Pension Bureau and is yet to register the state employees with PFAs. It has also not commence remittance of pension contributions; and is yet to conduct an actuarial valuation while its Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account is yet to be opended; yet to commence funding of the Accrued Pension Rights, and “yet to institute a Group Life Insurance Policy”.