Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Lagos State Council, has expressed displeasure over the failure of the government to meet pension expectations of retirees in most states of the federation.
The union lamented that despite clear provisions of the Pension Reform Act, retirees still face a lot of challenges trying to access their pension entitlements as and when due.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day annual workshop organised by the State Council, the workers called on the State Government to prioritise payment of pensions and gratuities.
In his remark, Ogun State Chairman and Coordinator, TUC South West, Olubunmi Fajobi, faulted the structuring of the contributory pension scheme, noting that workers that retired in 2016/17 have not yet been paid anything.
He said: “The fact that the gratuity element was removed from the implementation of the contributory pension is a bad process. Ordinarily, if a worker worked for a number of years, he or she should be appreciated at the end of his career. It is that parting gift, which gratuity represents that has now been completely removed.
“So, I work for you for 35 years and on leaving you just waive at me. This is not in a good light. It does not happen anywhere in the world, even if you have the contributory pension scheme, there is the gratuity element, which we are missing, and that is killing our members. There is a need for the gratuity element to be included in the CPS earners. Where is the parting gift for Nigerian workers under the CPS? We must demand the restoration of the gratuity element that we have in the defined benefit.
“Our services must not go in vain. It is better we address this now that we are still in service because we do not know our fate when we get out of service. Some of us are comfortable now with what is coming in but let me remind you that you need more money in retirement than when you are in service. It is killing.”
PensionNigeria noted that the Pension Reform Act 2014 does not prevent an employer from paying additional benefits to employees upon retirement. Also retirees get a lump sum amount from the total amount credited to their retirement savings account provided that the amount left after the lump sum withdrawal shall be sufficient to procure a programmed fund withdrawals or annuity for life.