Federal Government owes its retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) about N85 billion. The amount represents the outstanding accrued rights payments for FG retirees from June 2019 to July 2020.
This, according to the General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Elder Actor Zal, is the main reason why retirees from the civil service cannot get their pensions one year after their retirement.
He said: “We want to appeal to the Federal Government to come to the aid of pensioners who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), because as we speak now, anybody that retires from June 2019 till date cannot access their pension. The reason being that the government is yet to pay up the balance of the accrued right to these pensioners and until that is done they cannot access their Retirement Savings Account (RSA). There is no two ways to it.
“The way at which we are going, the Federal Government is releasing the monthly pension of the contributory pensioners, the accrued right monthly. But the last release made about two weeks ago only covered May 2019. If they release another one now, it will be for June 2019. So, all pensioners on that scheme that fell outside that month will have to wait.”
“We are in August 2020. How do you retire and wait for one year before you access your own money that you contributed, simply because the government has not balanced up? That is why we are just appealing to the government to please balance up so that it will be seen that the moment you retire, the following month you begin to enjoy your monthly pension.”
“The accrued right came about because when this scheme came up in 2007, some workers have already put in different years of service ranging from 10 to 15 years. Instead of the government allowing the scheme to commence with the people that start their service in that particular year, the government forced some people that were already in service to join the scheme.”
“Those people were entitled to some compensation and retirement benefits for the previous years they have spent in service before the scheme kicked off. The government said they will calculate it, work it out and pay it into their account. But since that year, they did not pay until these set of people start retiring and it becomes a serious issue.”