On Thursday, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) disclosed that workers who retired as staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are not entitled to a 33 percent pension increase while responding to allegations of collusion with some “powerful individuals” to deprive the pensioners of the aforementioned increment.
PTAD stated that the reason for the non-increase is because the PHCN pensioners were already on a special salary structure before the pension review for pensioners in a statement titled, 'Clarification on the Applicability of 33% Pension Increase to the Ex-PHCN Retirees'.
The statement reads in part, “They are alleging PTAD has colluded with some 'powerful individuals' to deprive them of the 33 percent pension increment as approved by the Federal Government in 2010.
“For the record, the President Muhammadu Buhari is very committed to pensioners' welfare and has consistently demonstrated this by approving the payment of outstanding pension arrears and regular payment of monthly pensions."
It added that the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission, the Federal Government agency responsible for policy statements on emoluments including pensions had directed via a letter of approval Ref: SWC/S/04/S.542/26 of 26th September 2014, saying that the retired staff of the defunct Power Holding.
“This is because PHCN pensioners were already on a special salary structure before the Pension review for Pensioners who while in service were on one of the Harmonised Salary Structures of the Federal Public Service", it stated.
The PTAD also revealed that PHCN pensioners took the Federal Government to the National Industrial Court (NIC) Abuja on this issue, and after several engagements, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the implementation of a 9.7 percent increase in the pensions of ex-PHCN retirees under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS).
“This approval was used as an out-of-court settlement in order to put an end to the suit at NIC, Abuja.
“Following the approval of the President, via approval letter Ref:(SWC/S/04/S.557/III/546) of 7th May 2021, the 9.7% increment was implemented with effect from 1st June 2016 and the arrears paid in December 2021 to all eligible Ex-PHCN Retirees,” it stated.
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