The Association of Retired Federal Senior Public Officers has urged the Federal Government to direct the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to pay the difference between the monthly benefits payable to retirees prior to the implementation of the minimum wage and the benefits due to them after the implementation of the minimum wage.
In the future, the group encouraged PTAD to pay their outstanding benefits according to the computation table made up by the Salaries and Wages Commission.
The association, in a statement issued on Sunday, requested the Federal Government to equalize retirees’ benefits by avoiding any disparity in the payment of pension benefits and ensuring that benefits are paid on schedule.
The group highlighted that the monthly pension payment, which had previously been made immediately following the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meeting, was now made in the early days of the new month, indicating a deviation from the previous payment period.
Mr. Olufemi Odewabi, President of ARFESPON, said it was sad that the government opted to pay 18 months out of the outstanding 24 months owing to pensioners after a lengthy period of patience displayed by pensioners throughout the agitation for payment of minimum wage.
He chastised PTAD for creating a disparity between what it was expected to pay retirees and what the Federal Government had approved through the Salaries and Wages Commission’s salary computation table.
“Government chose to give this salary increase by relevant percentages based on grade levels,” Odewabi stated.
“The Salaries and Wages Commission issued a circular for payment computation, which PTAD, in its superior wisdom, decided to ignore and instead issued its own formulated deficit computation, which was used to pay the arrears of 18 months out of the 24 months owed.”
The ARFESPON president urged PTAD to pay the difference between what it was obliged to pay for the 18 months based on the Salaries and Wages Commission’s computation table and to balance the remaining six months using the new salary computation table.
Odewabi, in painting a clearer picture of what the pensioners were fighting for, noted that in the directorate cadre, for example, the difference between the total payout before and after the minimum wage was roughly N12,000.
“Even some old pensioners in this cadre have less than N10,000 in their complete package, yet their entitled domestic servant in grade level 03 in this operation has a total package that is higher than this N12,000,” he bemoaned.
“Since the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria approved the table which the Salaries and Wages Commission forwarded to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, we are hereby appealing to PTAD to implement this payment henceforth,” Odewabi said in his appeal to PTAD to normalize the pensioners’ monthly benefits in accordance with government directive.
He also urged PTAD to consider the harmonization issue in the next adjustment.