Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Pensioners in Delta State under the aegis of Association of Contributory Retirees (ACR) have alleged that about 1,000 of their members have been de-listed from the pension scheme in the course of harmonising the disparity in benefits between retired state workers and local government workers.
Besides, the senior citizens said they were being short-changed in the payment of benefits.
Chairman of ACR in the state, Mr. Avurakoghene Agbaka told a press conference in Asaba that civil servants who retired from the state civil service from 2011 had not had a fair share of their pension benefits.
Agbaka said many years of protest and outcry had prompted Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to approve the reconciliation to ensure that both retirees of the state and local government workers received equal benefits.
According to him, following the introduction of the contributory pension scheme in the state, consultants were engaged to work out the retirement benefits of workers in the state.
He said while the consultants engaged to look into the benefits accruing to the local government workers used N18,000 minimum wage in their computation, the ones engaged for the state civil service workers, used N7,500 in their its computation as at the period.
“Consequently, retirees from the state civil service go home with peanuts compared to their counterparts in the local government,” he pointed out.
Agbaka lamented that even after the harmonisation was concluded as directed by the governor, rather than retirees under the scheme fair better, there was little or no change as most their members were short-changed or delisted from the scheme.
“We appreciate the governor for approving the review actuarial valuation of accrued pension benefits of workers of the state service from N7,500 to N18,000 minimum wage tagged ‘harmonisation’.