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National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Nigeria Labour Congress, on Tuesday, opposed the Nigeria Police Force’s request to be exempted from the Contributory Pension Scheme.

The Inspector-General of Police, represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Finance and administration, DIG Sanusi Lemu, gave a presentation at a public hearing on a bill for an Act to amend the Pension Reform Act at the National Assembly.

One of the bills is “A Bill For An Act To Amend The Pension Reform Act, 2014 To Provide For The Exemption Of The Nigeria Police Force From The Contributory Pension Scheme And Related Matters.

The other is a ”Bill For An Act To Amend Sections 1(C), 7(2), 8(1), 18, 24 And 99 Of The Pension Reform Act, Cap P50 Lfn 2014 By Providing That A Pensioner Shall Receive At Least 75% Of His Retirement Benefits Immediately Upon Retirement And Criminalise The Undue Delay In The Payment Of Pensions And For Related Matters.”

According to the IGP, the amendment would address the challenges associated with the pension administration in the Force since the National Pension Act was established.

However, the Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, the exit of the Police from CPS to the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) could further impose additional liabilities on the Federal Government.

“The solution to the pension challenges of the personnel of the Nigeria Police does not reside in their exemption from Contributory Pension Scheme and reversion to the Defined Benefits Scheme, which is unsustainable.”

“Exemption of the personnel of the NPF would imply additional financial burden on the Federal Government by way of unsustainable pension obligations. For instance, as of September 2021, there were 304,963 Police personnel based on IPPIS data.

“An actuarial valuation revealed that the retirement benefits (pension and gratuity) liability of these personnel under the defunct Defined Benefits Scheme would amount to about N1.84 trillion.”

“Where will the money to fund the Defined Benefits Scheme for the exempted officers come from? Would it still be funded from the national budget, which currently is hardly sufficient to fund other commitments of the Government, including healthcare and social security?” the Head of International Relation and National Assembly Liaison, NLC, Uche Ekwe, stated.

According to him, the Federal Government is already overburdened with paying pensions under the Defined Benefits Scheme, as illustrated by the 2022 Appropriation Act.

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