By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Following the enactment of a new contributory pension scheme in the state, the Niger state government said it has scaled up it’s counterpart funding of the contributory pension scheme, (CPS) by 3 percent to give life to it’s commitment to improve the welfare of the public workforce and retirees on it’s nominal rolls.
The state government now contributes 10.5 percent to each employee beneficiary of the new pension scheme as against the 7.5 percent of the old jettisoned scheme which was earlier approved in 2007 when the scheme started.
Under the old scheme, both the employees and the employer made a contribution of 7.5 percent while in the new scheme, the government has jerked up it’s counterpart funds while the same 7.5% paid in by the employees is maintained in the new scheme.This details of new pension regime is contained in the amended bill establishing the Contributory Pension Scheme for employees in the public service in the state as amended in the new contributory pension scheme which was signed into law last week by the state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.
A statement from the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Baba Ndace, explained that the increase in percentage contribution by the government was aimed at increasing the saving power of each employee at retirement.
Under the new scheme, only employees who joined the services of the state government from 1993 till date are eligible to draw down from new CPS while those employed earlier are to remain under the old pension scheme.However, there is a caveat in the new scheme. All fresh employees who would join the state’s public service after the new pension scheme has come into effect would be required to make a monthly contribution of 8 percent of their monthly income while government would contribute 10 percent as the contributory pension fund.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in the state has saluted the state Governor, the lawmakers in the state and the organised labour for their maturity and commitment to the peaceful resolution of the initial embroiglo over the now rested new contributory pension scheme.
A statement from the association and signed by it’s Secretary, Abdullahi Baba Sani said the signing the bill into law has rested all restive nerves and paved the way forward for the good of all.
The statement noted that the impasse created from the new pension saga before it was rested was a sad chapter in the relationship between the government, the organized labour and pensioners in the state just as it appreciated the resolution of the thorny issue.
It expressed optimism that the signing of the new law would be the basis for a better regime in the welfare of retirees of both the old and new scheme adding that it hope pensioners would now be taken care of properly.