Sanwo-Olu Clears Lagos Pension arrears as 2,000 retirees receive N4.5bn

Retirees from Lagos State civil service will now get their full pension benefits and gratuity immediately after retirement.

This followed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s fulfillment of his promise to settle all arrears and current pension liabilities in the State’s public service.

Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, presented pension bond certificates totaling N4.5 billion to 2,000 retirees at the 105th Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation Ceremony hosted by Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) in Oregun.

The clearing of the accrued pension liability essentially implies that the State Government owes no outstanding pension benefits and any form of entitlement to any individual who retired from its public service.

Fresh retirees will no longer wait endlessly after service before being paid their retirement benefits. Settlement of the State’s pension backlog has transitioned Lagos pension administration from servicing a liability to an era of pay-as-you-go.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu launched a special health insurance scheme for all living retirees, who served the State.

The Governor said the development marked a milestone in the State’s pension administration, stressing that the new template of “Pay-As You-Go” had prioritised quick payment of accrued rights in order to ensure retirees in the State enjoy dignity and financial stability after their retirement.

He said: “Today, we mark the 105th Retirement Bond Certificate presentation and I am pleased to present bond certificates worth a total of N4,461,659,536.82 to 2,000 retirees from our civil service. This development marks a historic milestone as our dear State transitions into a new era of Pension Administration known as ‘Pay-As You-Go’. From now on, all retirees of the State Government will be paid as they retire, provided all procedures and approvals have been completed before retirement.

“We have strategically prioritised clearing all backlogs of Accrued Rights payments to ensure our retirees enjoy dignity and financial stability after retirement. This commitment extends to the welfare of both current and former members of our workforce, recognising their unblemished careers in the State’s public service. These funds, along with their monthly contributions, have already been remitted into their respective Retirement Savings Accounts with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).”

Sanwo-Olu said Lagos was the first State in the country to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme when it commenced in 2004, pointing out that the State Government had paid N141.2 billion to 35,191 retirees till date.

Under his administration, the Governor disclosed that the State had paid N59.7 billion to 17,039 retirees over the last five years, making Lagos a top performer in pension payments.

Sanwo-Olu said the newly introduced health insurance scheme for the retirees was to further appreciate the service of the senior citizens in addition to payment of their financial entitlements.

He said: “We have also launched a Health Insurance Scheme tailored specifically for our retirees. This scheme will provide access to a wide range of medical services, from routine check-ups to specialised treatments. This initiative underscores our commitment to the well-being of our retirees, while ensuring that they receive not only what is due statutorily but also additional support and assistance to enhance your lives in retirement.”

LASPEC Director-General, Mr. Babalola Obilana, said the settlement of all backlogs of accrued rights demonstrated a significant achievement in public service, adding that the development reflected the Governor’s dedication to addressing the challenges faced by our retirees.

He said the Pay-As-You-Go template would help secure comfortable and dignified retirement for the retirees.

Head of Service, Mr. Olabode Agoro, observed that the Sanwo-Olu administration had been steadfast in recognising invaluable service of the State’s workforce, which made the Governor push all efforts to clear all backlogs of Accrued Rights Payments.

Agoro, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Office, Mrs. Sunkanmi Oyegbola, said: “The State Government recognises and appreciates the remarkable contributions made by our esteemed retirees. Your commitment, dedication, and sacrifices have been instrumental in the achievements of our Public Service, which in turn have significantly contributed to the progress of our great State.“

Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo, said the transition to Pay-As-You-Go template had set a precedent for establishing a sustainable and dependable pension system, which would serve as a model in the country.

Ayantayo, represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Establishments and Training, Mrs Olubukola Abidakun, noted that the ministry had worked collaboratively with LASPEC and PFAs to ensure the disbursement processes were efficient and transparent.

“This gesture will undoubtedly impact the lives of our retirees positively, rebuild trust in the State’s pension system, boost employee morale, enhance productivity and ensure that public servants can anticipate a secure retirement,” the Commissioner said.

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