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NSITF blames PENCOM for non-payment of 33% increment to pensioners

By on April 28, 2015

The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has absolved itself of blame for the non-implementation of the 33 per cent increment to its pensioners, blaming it on the regulations of the operations of the National Pension Commission (Pencom).

The fund further explained that it does not pay pensions, which is paid by Trustfund with approval from Pencom.

Pensioners who retired from the services of the fund have threatened to picket its headquarters to demand 57 months arrears from the July 2012 when the increment was made by the government.

The pensioners accuse the NSITF of failure to comply with government’s directive that pensions must be increased when salaries are increased.

The Deputy General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NSITF, Mr. Aliu Zubairu, when contacted, explained that the government circular approving the increase to pensioners was issued in September 2014.
He noted that the 53.37 per cent increment by the government in July 2012 fuelled the agitation for pension increment.

“So the issue of NSITF not paying approved increases from 2012 mischievous. The increase was granted in September 2014 and NSITF could not have owed money not approved by the government,” he said.

He added that N200 million was paid to Trustfund, which manages its pension, for the increase with effect from June 2014.
Trustfund’s application to Pencom, to effect the increment, as required by law was declined, Zubairu added, resulting in an inability for the payments to be made.

It was explained that Pencom, at a meeting with other stakeholders on the issue, had said it could not have approved the payment of the 53.37 per cent increase at the same time approval was being sought for the 33 per cent increment, because the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) had not released any circular authorising it.

It was after the meeting that circular dated September 2014, was brought to the notice of Pencom for implementation to begin in February 2015.

“Pencom later reneged on its agreement to approve these increases as agreed. When contacted, it insisted that NSITF should pay N50 million into its Fund under management with Trustfund for it to finally approve the increases. This was quickly done by the Fund,” NSITF said.

“A team from NSITF went to Pencom with evidence of this payment and were reassured that now the increases will be effected from the February pay out to the pensioners. Obviously Pencom still withholds its approval for this money to be paid to the pensioners,” it added.

The fund noted that its pensions are paid by the 20th of every month, adding that it is committed to the 33 per cent increase.