Sunday, July 25, 2021

Retirees propose over 50% of pension payment: Survey

“25 per cent draw of pension benefits is enslavement.”

• June 17, 2021
Pension boss and retirees
Pension boss and retirees used to illustrate the story

Some Nigerian retirees have canvassed for a lump sum payment of over 50 per cent of pension to those who retired at 60 years.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, they said that it would be a welcome development if 60-year-old retirees were able to access over 50 per cent of their pension.

One of the retirees, 62-year-old Adeniyi Ajayi, who bowed out of active service in 2019 from the Ekiti Civil Service, wondered why those who retired at 60 could not enjoy a larger sum of their pensions since they had worked for the money.

Mr Ajayi said it was disheartening that a civil servant, who retired at 60 and not voluntarily, would have to suffer before enjoying the fruit of his or her labour.

“We have seen cases of retirees who died shortly after retirement, without accessing their pensions.

“The sorry state is that some of us who retired in our 60s have no much time on our hands.

We should not be denied our hard-earned benefits in the name of spreading it over a longer period than necessary.

“I, therefore, appeal to pension managers to allow up to 50 per cent or 75 per cent lump sum withdrawal of pension by retirees,” Mr Ajayi said.

Speaking in the same vein, another retiree, Abiodun Adeyeye, said a 25 per cent draw of pension benefits is “enslavement.”

“A pensioner worked for this money. This is his or her labour. I believe 75 per cent should be paid to someone who retired at age 60,” he said.

Also, another retiree, Ibironke Ayokunle, concurred saying that it was not normal for a retiree not to have access to over 50 per cent of their pension from his or her pension manager.

In his own contribution, a legal practitioner, Olatunde Olayemi, said the Pension Commission Act, which allowed for only 25 per cent withdrawal, was long overdue for review.

Mr Olayemi said at 60 in Nigeria nowadays, a retired man or woman was only expected to enjoy good food and no worries and that denying those aged over 60 a larger part of their pension may simply cause frustration.”

In a landmark judgement, Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi of the National Industrial Court, Abuja Division, had ordered ARM Pension Managers to pay one Maroof Giwa, a claimant, at least 50 per cent of his pension. 

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