Since beginning of the Contributory Pension Scheme, no fewer than 5,957 deceased workers’ families have had N13.43bn approved for them from the Retirement Savings Accounts of their benefactors by the National Pension Commission.
This was contained in a report on payments of death benefits by PenCom, which was made available to our correspondent on Monday. The affected families were, however, able to produce Wills prepared by the workers before their demise; or obtained letters of administrator of the deceased’s estates as a prerequisite to assessing their pension contributions under the CPS.
According to the report, the commission approved the death benefits of 958 workers in 2010; 3,805 in 2011; and 1,194 in 2012. For the three years, N2bn, N7.93bn and N3.5bn were paid to the families of the deceased workers, bringing the total amount to N13.43bn. A breakdown of the figures showed that in 2010, PenCom approved payment of death benefits of N2bn to 958 deceased workers’ relatives, out of which N489.24m was paid to 255 dependants of employees in the private sector, while N1.51bn was paid to dependants of 703 contributors in the public sector.
The commission said out of the claims it approved for relatives of 3,805 workers in 2011, Federal Government employees accounted for 85.54 per cent, while state and private sector employees accounted for 0.45 per cent and 13.01 per cent, respectively Eighty-nine per cent of the total of N7.93bn was paid out to families of deceased Federal Government employees, while relatives of state and private sector workers were paid 0.8 per cent and 9.57 per cent of the sum, respectively.
PenCom said it had been receiving requests for approval to pay death benefits submitted by the PFAs on behalf of the relatives of deceased retirees and contributors. “The beneficiary of a contributor who dies intestate can inherit his benefits provided he applies to the probate registry for letter of administration. Once the application is granted by the probate registry, the administrator of the estate will now be given the benefits for him to share to the legal heirs of the deceased contributor,” it explained.
The commission said it had a benefit administration department, which is takes the responsibility of ensuring that benefits are paid as and when due.