Edo Sensitizes Intending Retirees on Contributory Pension Scheme, Educating Retirees and providing update on CPS in the State – PensionNigeria

Edo Sensitizes Intending Retirees on Contributory Pension Scheme, Educating Retirees and providing update on CPS in the State

A three-day sensitization program for prospective retirees has been organized by the Edo State Government, under the auspices of the Edo State Pensions Bureau.

The event was geared towards cascading the right information about the contributory pension scheme to public servants in the State who are due for retirement between the months of April and December, 2022.

The event which was held at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) from Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th July 2022, had various stakeholders in attendance, affording intending retirees in the State a platform to learn and ask pertinent questions bordering on retirement.

In her opening remark, the Permanent Secretary and Chairman, Edo State Pension Bureau, Mrs. Aikefe O. Aigbavboa, noted that the event was organized in the interest of intending retirees.

According to Aigbavboa, “The essence of bringing intending retirees together for this sensitization program is for them to get first-hand information on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and get them abreast of how they can go about their pension payment process upon retirement.”

Aigbavboa also debunked rumors surrounding the CPS which has been in operation in the State since 2017.

She noted, “there are several rumors surrounding the scheme; rumors such as; Government is not paying; civil servants would not receive their entitlement upon retirement; the process for payment would be stressful in this new scheme; retirees would not be entitled to their accrued rights before the adoption of the new scheme, and so many others.

“So we thought it wise to organize this sensitization event to not only debunk these rumors but also sensitize participants by providing them with the right information.”

While allaying the fears of participants, the Permanent Secretary informed them that the State Government has paid Accrued Rights for March retirees into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) at their respective PFAs, stressing that the payment process has already begun.

Aigbavboa also declared that the new scheme enables workers to save towards their final disengagement, as workers contribute eight percent of their monthly salaries, while the State Government contributes 10 percent matching fund, making it a total of 18 percent.

Also speaking at the event was the facilitator, Mr. Adebola Bello, from Pension Alliance Limited (PAL), who explained that access to the right information is key for every intending retiree.

According to Bello, “Since retirement is inevitable for workers both in the public and private sectors, getting the right information to the prospective retirees is very key.”

Bello added: “The previous scheme had too many issues; such as lack of transparency, no uniform parameter, irregular payment of contribution by some administrations resulting in insurmountable backlogs and arrears that were detrimental to these senior citizens whose survival most times is dependent on their retirement benefits”.

He maintained that the cumbersome payment process inherent in the previous scheme due to the analog documentation and verification process compromised its credibility which in turn led to frequent street protests by pensioners.

He therefore commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for implementing the CPS in the State.

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Contributory Pension Transition and Head of Department of the Contributory Pension Scheme at the Edo State Pensions Bureau, Mr. Collins Idiahi, also reiterated that “the sensitization program would come in handy for intending retirees on the current pension scheme and enlighten them on how they can access their fund upon retirement.”

Idiahi added, “It could be recalled that the retirees between January and February 2022 were the first to benefit from the new Contributory Pension Scheme introduced by Edo State Government in January 2017; they also had a similar enlightenment program before their disengagement from the system. Those sets of retirees were the litmus test for the system and they affirmed that the process was stress-free and transparent”.

One of the participants at the event, Elder Comrade E.B. Odeh, the Principal of Idia College Senior Secondary School, expressed his delight at the enlightenment initiative by the State Government.

Odeh noted, “I would be due for retirement in October 2022. Before this time, most of us were apprehensive of the Scheme because of the rumors flying around, but today there have been a lot of clarifications and my fear for my retirement benefits have been allayed.

“From the information given today, I can say the scheme is worthwhile, it is not a scam as posited by rumors mongers and definitely not a ponzi scheme”. Odeh appealed that subsequent editions be held from time to time for other intending retirees.

Another participant Mrs. Obasuyi Veronica, commended the State Government’s efforts in carrying civil servants along in its policies and programs. Obasuyi noted, “I am glad to be here for the seminar because I know how to go about my retirement payment process now. The seminar was beneficial to me and to my other colleagues and I sincerely thank the organizers for this laudable initiative. This has given us a clear-cut vision of what lies ahead and the assurance that we would get our money as and when due.”

Present at the event were staff from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), including Post Primary Education Board, Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), Edo State Board for Technical and Vocational Education, Edo State House of Assembly, Edo State Library Board, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Bendel Newspapers Corporation and Directorate of Government House & Protocols.

Also in attendance were representatives from Pension Alliance Limited (PAL), Veritas Glanvills Pensions, Heirs Insurance Ltd, Cornerstone Insurance PLC, Custodian Life Assurance Limited, ARM Pensions, ICO Insurance Limited, amongst others.

Prior to this time, many civil and public servants were sparsely aware of the mechanism of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and its inherent benefits. Some were skeptical and circumspect of their respective Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). The three-day enlightenment program which featured extensive lectures on the mechanism and benefits of the CPS for intending retirees, has once again demonstrated Governor Obaseki’s commitment to the welfare of public servants in the State.

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