The total number of retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme has risen by 27 per cent in two years, data obtained by our correspondent have shown.
Specifically, the total number of retirees rose from 291,569 in June 2019 to 370,839 in June 2021. This also means that the CPS has produced 370,839 retirees since its inception.
Within the two-year period, the total lump sum payment to retirees grew by 32 per cent from N671.33bn to N890.73bn.
The data, obtained from the National Pension Commission showed that N890.73bn lump sum was paid to retirees from the private and public sectors, asides from their monthly stipends.
Total number of retirees had risen from 291,569 in June 2019 to 325,315 in June 2020, representing 11 per cent increase. Also, the total lump sum payment grew from N671.33bn in June 2019 to N759.38bn in June 2020, indicating 13 per cent growth.
The CPS, which was established under the Pension Reform Act 2004, had produced the first sets of retirees in 2007.
According to the PRA 2014, employers and employees are required to contribute 10 per cent and eight per cent respectively, bringing the total contribution to 18 per cent of the worker’s total monthly emolument.
The contributions are to be remitted into workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts domiciled with their Pension Funds Administrators. The contributions are to be accessed as pension benefits at retirement.
According to PenCom, contributors can access their funds in the RSA at retirement in line with Sections 7 and 16 of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
A retiree must be at least 50 years old or must have retired from service on attainment of the maximum allowable length of service (usually 35 years in the public sector).
In line with the CPS, there are two retirement options opened to employees, namely, programmed withdrawal and life annuity.
The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the commission’s current strategic focus was to expand access to pension via the CPS in order to enhance economic development.
This, according to her, aligns with the pension reform objective of old age poverty reduction and improvement in the welfare and general standard of living.