Pensioners have decried the manner in which their gratuity is fractionalised, saying it is a way of ripping off retirees who spent years working for the country.
Most of the pensioners who spoke to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY criticised the 2004 Pension Reforms Act which abolished the right to a gratuity which is a single lump sum payment while pension is a monthly payment.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, one of the pensioners, Mr Abubakar Isyaku lamented the hoops and loops pensioners go through with their Pension Fund Administrators while trying to get their benefits.
“A lot of our colleagues are going through trauma; a lot of our colleagues are being short-changed. How can the government say they are helping us manage our money by paying us half and paying the rest monthly, we want the lump sum we will use it and sort ourselves out, if you didn’t build a house in service you use it and build a house and take care of yourself for the remaining days you still have to live,” he said.
The coordinator, Listening Ears, an NGO based in Abuja, Barr. Joseph Daramola disparaged the rationale behind fractionalising pensioners’ benefits.
“All government is looking for is their own private gain, including the PENCOM, the insurance company that is running after you and your PFA. What is being done now is that after paying you 25 per cent of the lump sum which is accrued to you, they then bring in insurance company, the insurance company will work according to the directive given by PENCOM, then they will offer you certain amount of money they will be paying you every month based on the balanced that is left with you after they have given you lump sum withdrawal.”
Mr Daramola however, urged the government to effect full payment of pensioners’ benefits rather than fractionalising it.
“ Government cannot say they are helping pensioners plan their life, if government gives you your money you know how to plan your life, by the way the people in government are not up to your age, what sense they have that is greater than your own trying to say they are planning your life for you at your advanced stage.Thegovernment should see the need to pay the pensioners all their entitlements at once instead of fractionalising them, so that the pensioners will utilise their money as they wish and be happy with themselves.”