The Kaduna State Government has said it is resolute on seeking ways to meet liabilities relating to the outstanding pension benefits of its retirees. This was made known by the Executive Governor of the State, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai at a meeting between the government and pension fund administrators (PFAs) held at Government House Kaduna on Thursday, 5th March 2020.
The PFAs proferred several ideas that would assist the government in raising the much needed funds which would held resolve the issue of outstanding payments, including the possibility of a sinking fund and floating a bond. The governor however said his government would like the PFAs to consider possibilities outside the suggestions made.
For retirees whose benefits have been processed pending their conclusion of the on-going data recapture across the federation, the PFAs said compliance on the part of the retiring staff has been painstakingly slow but progressive and that in collaboration with the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, sensitization had kicked-off in February 2020 to ensure that both active and retiring employees understand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) better. The sensitization, it is believed, will go a long way in ensuring that processes of benefit administration are comprehended and easily complied with.
It will be recalled that the state government, in order to strengthen the CPS in Kaduna State reviewed the pension law in March 2016, establishing the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, presently led by Mrs. Esther Alibaba as its Acting Executive Secretary. This brought about a new pension regime effective January 2017 and the state has since been making concerted efforts to tackle all related issues. These efforts have severally met with many teething problems that would normally surface when any meaningful employer pursues reforms with the aim of finding ways to better the lot of its workforce.
Attendees at the meeting included the governor, his deputy, the head of service, chief of staff, secretary to the state government, the commissioner of finance, the permanent secretary (finance), Special adviser to the governor on Special duties, the acting executive secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau, and a host of others.
The PFAs, led by the Chairman of the Kaduna State PFA Forum, Mr. Sunday Iortyange, were all represented at the meeting. Top practitioners who also attended were the MD/CEO of Premium Pensions and other Management staff from Sigma Pensions, APT Pensions and Premium Pensions.
An adhoc committee, with proposed membership from the state government, PFAs and the national regulator, PenCom, has been proposed by His Excellency, the Governor, to deliberate on the ways forward and report back within four weeks.