The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders has faulted the Osun State Government for non-remittance of pension deductions from the Lecturers’ salaries into their retirement savings account. As such action poses a risk to the survival of pension administration in Nigeria and would lead to the employees being short changed at retirement.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Osun State have set aside every Tuesday and Wednesday for strike to press home their demands. In a bid to address this problem, National Pension Commission engaged the services of recovery agents to recover non-remittance funds from employers.
Since the Pension Reform Act, (PRA), 2004 which was further reviewed in 2014 sought to, among other things, address the chronic under funding of Pension entitlements of workers especially in the public sector. The introduction of the contributory scheme, which ensured that both employers and employees take collective responsibility for contributing to retirement savings account of the workers has added one of the perennial problems associated with payment of Pension entitlements of workers.
Reacting to the news on behalf of CACOL, its Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, however expressed worries on Osun State Government for the unwholesome action of un-remitted deductions from workers’ wages, which can easily result in the failure of the scheme over time. This he said is rather disturbing.
Flagrant violation of the pension law is a criminal offense. It is instructive that under the law, all states are expected to bring their workers into the scheme, and remit their contributions to their RSAs every month. Public and private companies with fifteen or more workers are also expected to do the same. Failure by employers to remit the pension contributions of workers to the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs is a big challenge facing the reform, which may affect retirees of non-compliant organizations in future.
Speaking further, Adeniran said it should be a fundamental matter, which would create conditions for workers to generate sufficient savings in their Retirement Saving Accounts. There is also a need to link pension reform with a more encompassing social security reform, including those of health and housing if the financial wellbeing of retirees is to be guarantee and sustained. Such an environment can only be derived through higher levels of work-related revenue or other forms of remuneration
Pension is the most visible programme of any social security scheme providing protection to citizens from old age poverty. A retiree who receives a lump sum can invest the money in practically anything and this freedom of choice is appeals to lots of retirees. Retirees in most cases use the fund to build houses, purchase cars or establish small business.
All over the world, pension matters are Union priority issues, the funds are workers contributions and beneficiaries. He appealed to the lecturers to be patient with the state government, saying the state government would ensure that their demands are met as soon as possible and called on the state government to ensure that they remit the deducted contributions to secure the future of the state workers.