Written by Sarah NEGEDU

PTAD disburses N102.8bn to pensioners in 15 months

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, said it has paid a total of N102.84billion to pensioners between January 2018 and March 2019 under the Defined Benefits Scheme.

Speaking at the agency’s 2019 North Central Stakeholders Forum, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed that the Directorate paid a total of N79.21billion to the pensioners in 2018 and N23.63billion in the first quarter of 2019.

She said that the release of the fund to pensioners was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to make life easier for pensioners.

A breakdown of the figure showed that the highest amount of N59.97billion was utilised to fund Parastatal Pension Department in the 15-month period. Out of this amount, the sum of N45.05billion was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N14.92billion was spent in the first quarter of this year.

The sum of N26.4billion was released for Civil Servants Pension Department during the period, made up of N21.21billion for 2018 and N5.19billion for the first three months of this year.

The agency also utilised the sum of N8.64billion for pension payment to Customs, Immigration and Prisons Service, out of which N6.81billion was for 2018 while the balance of N1.84billion was utilised in the first quarter of this year.

For Police pension, the sum of N7.78billion was released, out of which N6.12billion was utilised in 2018 while the balance of N1.65billion was for the first quarter of 2019.

She said 30,770 Civil Service Pensioners who had not been on the payroll had their benefits computed and put back on the payroll with their arrears paid.

By March 2019, 1655 pensioners were said to have been added to payroll and pension arrears paid. A total of 14,678 pensioners from various agencies under the Parastatals Pension Department were verified and paid their benefits.

“We are awaiting approved salary charts for the re-computation and payments of death benefits and 3 year arrears of next of kins of deceased pensioners from the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission,” she said.

She assured pensioners that the proposed salary increase for workers would also translate to pension increase for retirees.

The Chairman, National Union of Pensioners, Dr Abel Afolayan, called on PTAD to quickly offset the 33percent arrears of retirees under the Parastatal Pension Department.

He said that while PTAD had been making efforts to address complaints made by pensioners, such issues were not being addressed speedily.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, expressed satisfaction with the activities of PTAD and assured pensioners of the safety of their pension funds.

The Minister, who was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Legal Services, Gabriel Christopher, said the present government has been working to douse agitations of pensioners under the old scheme by clearing inherited backlog of pensions.

She said payment of the 33percent pension increment has been ongoing in line with the government’s plan to clear pension liabilities.

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