Lagos releases N1.6 billion to 311 retirees

The Lagos State Government has released the sum of N1.6 billion as benefit payment to 311 retirees from the Mainstream Civil Service, Local Governments, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Teachers Establishments and Pensions Office (TEPO) and other Parastatals of Government for the month of April.

The State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke Akintola, who disclosed this while speaking at the 38th Retirement Benefit Bond Presentation Ceremony recently at NECA House Auditorium, Ikeja said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the Post- Service welfare of its workers through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC).

He said the determination of ensuring retirees’ comfort was the reason for the consistent monthly contribution into the Retirement Savings Account of Public servants by the present administration, adding that it is accorded the same priority as that of payment of salaries.

According to Dr. Akintola, “It is a positive history that, the Lagos state Government has been winning the National Pension Commission’s award for the Best Pensions compliant State in the Federation. We aim to maintain this rating by continuing and improving on the timely payment of all pensions and other applicable benefits to our retiring workers upon disengagement from service”.

He said the State Government has never failed to remit monthly contributions into the Retirement Savings Account of workers, which, as at March, 2017 has ensured that about N78,592 billion had been credited into employees retirees Savings Accounts maintained by ten Pension Fund Administrators.

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He said: “In spite of the onerous funding obligations under the Contributory Pension Scheme, the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has exhibited a persistent will in meeting up”.

“Similarly, we have also been consistent in setting aside the funds for the payment of accrued rights as provided for in the Pension Reform Law. On over 13,676 retirees /withdrawn staff, the State government has paid accrued pension rights of about N61, 422.560 billion since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentations in 2010”, the Commissioner added.

He assured the retirees that the Lagos State Government through LASPEC will continue to ensure that Public Service retirees not only get what is due to them statutorily but also continue to receive, through other Agencies and Programmes, additional support and assistance that will add value to their lives in retirement.

Akintola, however, advised the retirees not to hesitate to contact LASPEC or even the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions should they require clarifications or advice regarding their retirement.

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Speaking earlier, the Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga said that the immeasurable commitment of the Lagos State Governor to the sustenance of the Contributory Pension Scheme in order to give the retirees a life of financial empowerment cannot be overemphasised.

“We have received support from the Government on our ICT infrastructure and the calibre of personnel recruited/deployed to the Commission. Our interaction with our customers have been further enhanced with our 24/7 interactive Voice Response (IVR) application” she said.

The Director General said that between August 2015 and April, 2017, the State Government through LASPEC has paid accrued pension rights totalling the sum of N27,409.56 billion into the RSA of 6,270 retirees. In essence, she said that the State’s Government funding of employees’ pension rights under the Contributory Pension Scheme in a period of 10 years is over N140 billion.

While enjoining all the beneficiaries to take very good care of their health and physical well-being as well as desist from frivolous spending, she informed beneficiaries that the two exit options i.e. Programmed Withdrawal and Annuity for receipt of pension benefit monthly are now available.

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