To demonstrate its commitment towards the welfare of pensioners, the Lagos State government is gearing up to launch free transportation and healthcare services to thousands of its retirees by first quarter of 2020.
The Nation learnt that the proposal for the retirees to enjoy the free services has reached an advanced stage. The state has also continued to pay its retirees their pensions regularly.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, while speaking at the 70th Retirement Benefits Bond Certificates, said the bond certificate is a passport to financial independence in retirement.
Ponnle, who stated the state believes that pension is a life wire, said pension rights of 321 retirees will be credited into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
She stated that employees of Lagos State are the state’s greatest assets, which is why they are not only committed to ensuring that they enjoy good conditions of service but to also ensure that their entitlements are paid when they exit from service.
She noted that while salaries of active workers statewide are paid monthly, contributions into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of employees are also religiously remitted.
The state Governor, Sanwo Olu, was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions in year 2007 and so he understands clearly what pension means to a retiree, she added.
She said upon assumption of office, directives have been given to ensure that pension obligations are systematically cleared.
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She said: “We are very resolute to forging ahead with the Contributory Pension Scheme. The scheme is sustainable as it meets the challenges of the past pension scheme administration, which being non-contributory, relied totally on budgetary allocations of government.
Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, added that the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate shows accrued pension rights due to retiree for years spent in the service under the discontinued Pay As You Go pension scheme.
She informed the retirees that their Retirement Savings Accounts with Pension Fund Administrator have religiously received into them monthly contributions from April 2007 when they transited to the (CPS) dispensation up to their months of exit.
“However, retirees’ entitlements under the Pay as You Go Pension Scheme must be fused into RSA account with CPS contributions before computation of their lump sum and monthly pension can be calculated.
The fusion has been achieved and retirees will be able transit into a future of financial Independence. Lagos has been consistent with its leadership role in the implementation of Contributory Pension Scheme in line with the provisions of Lagos State Pension Reform Law of 19th March, 2007, now amended.
“The proposal for retirees to enjoy free transportation and healthcare has reached an advanced stage and hopefully will be launched in the first quarter of year 2020.
I must also appreciate the unflinching support of the State approved PFAs and the insurance companies’ efforts at ensuring that all our retirees have unrestrained access to their pension benefits.