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HomeAbuja NewsWhy LEA teachers’ pension stall – FCTA Board  

Why LEA teachers’ pension stall – FCTA Board  

Many Local Education Authority, LEA, teachers as well as area council staff across the Federal Capital Territory, have had their retirement benefits delayed due to late processing of their work files.

The Abuja Inquirer reliably gathered that some retirement benefits have been delayed for as long as two years, as getting files across to the FCT Area Council Staff Pension Board appears to be a daunting task for some LEA schools and area councils.

The director of the board, Dr. Nanzing Nden, in a recent interview, revealed that the late payment of pension benefits remains the greatest challenge affecting the board from implementing its objectives.

Nden lamented that despite the modalities put in place to implement the payment of benefits ahead of retirement, they board is still lagging behind due to the approach by some schools.

According to him, “The major challenge we have is getting files across to us from the area councils and the LEAs. When officers retire, we expect that the files should reach us ahead of their retirement time so we can pay their benefits because we have the funds, but what we have most times is that these files are delayed. This year we set out to implement the payment of benefits ahead of retirement time but we are still lagging.

“We just received the minister’s approval for N170million for those who retired in October which is not according to our work plan. Our work plan is that we are supposed to have paid those who retire in October by say July or August this year.

“It will shock you to know that while we are talking of advance payment, some agencies are having one year or two years lag.”

Despite the delays, the FCT Area Council Staff Pension Board has been able to pay over N8billion as accrual benefits to 1,217 retirees over the past six years, with a monthly pension payment of N1.8 billion to thousands of retirees under the old scheme.

In 2022 alone, the board has so far disbursed N754 million as pension to 194 retirees.

Nden said aside ensuring seamless pension administration for Area Council staff and LEA teachers, the board is also expected to facilitate prompt remittances of pension contributions, taking out group life insurance policies for staff of the area council and LEAs, payment of benefits, mobilisation of funds from stakeholders etc.

“We have also been able to maintain a group life assurance policy and ensure that all those who died during this period were paid their insurance benefit. We also have paid N896 million as death benefit of those who died the same period, in lieu of their death.”

He said with the support of the FCT minister, the board has been able to ensure that it implemented the pension management system, which includes the website, all the media sites, a workflow system that is working, and Information Technology Centre which keeps all its records and a document management system that ensures all their files are digitalised.

“Through this, we have been able to launch our Servingcom Charter as the first FCT agency to do so, and no other agency has been able to do. So, we are the only agency in the FCT that has a charter. Also, we have been able to launch our anti-corruption transparency guide, and we are the only agency in the FCT to do such, so this year, we intend to launch our operation manual, which will also be the first for the FCT.

Giving a breakdown of how the area councils pension fund is collated, the director said, “It is a fund that is put together by the FCT Administration, area councils and Federal Government. While the area councils contribute 15percent, FCT Administration contribute 2.5percent and Federal Government contribute 5percent to the retirement bond savings account with the CBN.”

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