FG begins wind-down of old pension scheme

By The Citizen

There are indications that the Federal Government has begun the gradual wind-down of the problematic old pension scheme and will, instead, move pensioners under it to the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Investigations revealed that the decision to do away with the old scheme became imperative because of the lingering scams and non-payment of pensioners under the scheme despite different measures introduced by successive governments to solve the problem.

The confirmation of the winding down process was contained in a report by the National Pension Commission on the establishment of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.

PenCom said in order to address some of the lingering issues in the administration of pension in the public service; it forwarded a proposal to the Federal Government seeking the approval for the establishment of a Pension Transitional Arrangement Department.

'This was with the aim to streamline and coordinate the activities of the existing pension boards and offices. Already, an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the director-general of the commission has been established by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance towards achieving this aim,' the commission said in the report.

According to the report, apart from the PenCom DG, other members of the committee are the Permanent Secretary, Establishment and Records, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation; Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation; Accountant-General of the Federation; and Auditor-General of the Federation.

Presently, the Head of Service of the Federation handles the payment of pensions of federal pensioners and the Federal Government's share of state pensioners' stipends under the old pension scheme, but this has been mired in controversy.

An attempt to restructure the old scheme led to the setting up of the Pension Reform Task Force Team in 2010 under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina.

However, due to the inability of the team to solve the lingering problems three years after it was set up, President Goodluck Jonathan had to dissolve the PRTT. Punch