PenCom: Police Retirees reject “Enhancement of Monthly Pension Payment” under CPS

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The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have rejected the recently  announced “Enhancement of Monthly Pension Payment” by the Director General (DG) of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar.

The DG had recently claimed that “pension enhancement is a means of adjusting the periodic income of retirees against the erosion of their pension by inflation” as well as “solves the problem of low pensions” and it cuts across all shades of retirees under the CPS.

But the retirees in a petition made available to some newsmen in Calabar on Saturday and signed by Chairman, Police Retirees under CPS, CRS chapter, Mr Chris Effiong, Chairman, FCT Chapter, Mr. Abayomi Akeremale, the Legal Adviser Elder Ofem O. Mbang, Chairman, Delta State Chapter, Mr Emmanuel Kwekaogwu, General Secretary, Dr. Augustine Peter and 21 others on behalf of themselves and all NPF retirees under the CPS in a petition to the National Assembly, said this new policy is a reinforcement of PenCom’s “strategic policies of accelerated untimely deaths and Neo-colonial, slavish economic strangulation of NPF Retirees under the CPS in a new garb “beautifully” christened “Enhancement of Monthly Pension payment.”

However, “NPF retirees under the CPS isolate themselves from accepting the enhancement because it is found to be a mere window dressing strategy as it does not address the fundamental hardship that NPF retirees are experiencing in retirement life. That is why it is imaginary”. Contrary to reports in some national dailies that the policy was to boost retirees pensions, the NPF retirees said “this is indeed, a make-belief assertion meant to divert attention from the actual effect of the CPS on NPF retirees conscripted into it against every known sensitisation and good conscience. If the CPS in concrete terms constituted a clear and positive departure from the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) as claimed by the DG PenCom, the Army, DIA, NIA and DSS would not have opted out of it.

“There is no such attractive enhancement in the pension scheme and there is no way it can outlive the pattern of the DBS in which pensioners mandatorily earn 300% of their last gross annual salaries as gratuity  and 80% of a  retiree’s terminal salary as pension. This even includes basic salary, housing and transport allowances, to mention a few, not found anywhere in the killer CPS.”

They argued that “so far, the so-called pension enhancement payment has been deceitfully selective as not up to ten NPF retirees under the CPS have received the ear-aching peanut. From a cursory look at these paltry sums called pension enhancement, the question is whether these exceptional peanuts are sufficient to address the effect of inflation on the pensions of NPF retirees under the CPS as well as solve the problem of about 20 years low pension for the retirees under reference.”

On the  DG PenCom’s CPS safeguards, they said it is contradictory as “every sane mind should dismiss the DG PenCom’s CPS safeguards as a hoax meant to deceive the National Assembly Legislators, Nigerians and the world at large whereas lots of fraudulent activities have been perpetuated despite the safeguards and the CPS is a death trap that keeps eroding the lives of NPF retirees under the CPS on a daily basis with reckless abandon. And about about eight persons have died between in past one year.”

On the excess profit on investment the PenCom pays to government as a revenue generating agency unsolicited to government, the retirees said it was unnecessary as such money to make any economic meaning to NPF retirees under the CPS in particular, “it ought to have been used to shore up the meager monthly pension payment and not to be given to government as a gift that was not solicited for. But this is not the case. It has been abject poverty, starvation and daily untimely deaths of NPF retirees under the CPS.”