The difference in the monthly pension payments that the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate is said to have devised has drawn criticism from the Association of Retired Federal Senior Public Officers of Nigeria (ARFESPON).
The Defined Pension Benefit Scheme’s pensioners claimed that the current payment scale employed by PTAD for its monthly benefits was significantly less than what was specified in the table of consequential adjustment in pensions resulting from the establishment of the national minimum wage.
The group claimed that the Wages and Salaries Commission had created the proper table, which was included in a previous circular on parity in pension benefit payments that the commission had given to pensioners on April 28, 2021.
The organization issued a memo to the head of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, that was signed by James Bassey, its national president, and Olusoji Sobo, its general secretary.
The group said that PTAD produced a table of its own with the same name as that of the wages’ commission but with extremely ambiguous content, in contrast to the Salary and Wages Commission’s acceptance of their new benefit scale, which had addressed the issue of discrepancy.
“When your circular SWC/S/04/.542/11/298 dated April 28, 2021 was received by us, we were very pleased and thanked God that the Federal Government had finally approved our association’s long fight to achieve parity in the payment of pension to retired officers in the Defined Benefit Scheme regardless of the scale of salary on which they retired,” they claim.
“We were happy that our long yearning of almost 20 years on pension parity struggle for pensioners that retired on similar circumstances of the length of pensionable service, salary grade level and step has been met.”
“However, our joy soon turned sour when we started receiving our new pensions in June 2021 and the amount being paid fell short of the amount indicated in your circular under reference.”
Speaking about the development, PTAD’s Head of Corporate Communication, Gbenga Ajay, stated that “PTAD commenced payment in May 2021 and has completely paid of the arrears from April 2019 to April 2021 to all the operational departments in the Directorate. This was done following the approval for the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the new minimum wage of 2019.
“The approved percentage increase for someone who earns 14,733 and below is 59 per cent. 59 per cent of 14,733.44 is 8,692.73. If you add the two figures, you get 23, 426.17.
“Now, remember that some state pensioners with federal shares earn less than 14,733.44, and some earn less than N1,000 naira. Therefore, their new pension will not be up to 23, 426.17.
“However, with the consequential adjustment, no pensioner, even the state pensioners with federal share, earns less than 8,692.73.
PTAD did not, and has no right to go contrary to any directive from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.”