Senate to Probe Pension Fund Administrators over Unpaid Claims

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Senate to Probe Pension Fund Administrators over Unpaid Claims
PFAs

The Senate has tasked its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes to investigate the activities of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) over unpaid pensions.

This followed the adoption of a motion “on the need to address the travails of pensioners, their next-of-kin and deceased relatives over unpaid pensions, gratuities and other entitlements”, by Sen. Kelvin Chukwu (LP-Enugu) at Tuesday’s plenary.

Presenting the motion, Chukwu said there were undue delays in the payment of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, causing suffering and trauma to retirees.

“Due to bureaucratic bottlenecks and endemic corruption in the payment process, the situation has subjected many pensioners to abject penury.

“With some even dying in queues of protracted and never-ending verification exercises that yield little or no result whatsoever.

“The prevailing issues include the non-payment of outstanding arrears to scores of pensioners, non-enrolment of thousands of pensioners on the pension payroll, non-payment of death benefits to deserving Next-of-Kin.

“This is made worse by improper keeping of records, unscrupulous officials who demand different documents and call for similar verification exercises time and time again,” he said.

He said that the administration of the pension funds had been enmeshed in unprecedented corruption over the years with some public officers, institutions of government and even banks all complicit.

The lawmaker said that except pensioners received fair and prompt treatment, the country was unwittingly encouraging the propensity of civil servants to be corrupt.

“This is because a career in civil service is no longer attractive especially as senior citizens are treated shabbily.

“It goes further to speak of our value system as any society that cannot treat its elderly citizens with care, respect and dignity advertises its disregard for values,” he said. Reps begin reviewing 2024-2026 MTEF, Fiscal Strategy

Chukwu said that considering the fact that senior citizens were no longer relevant in the labour market, the government must do something drastic to ameliorate the trauma and sufferings of pensioners.

“After many years of hard labour, a worker is indeed entitled to some peace and security at old age,” he said.

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