A Critique of Pension Reform Act, 2004 In Nigeria
Keywords:Gratuity, Pension Commission (PENCOM), Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), Pension Fund Custodian (PFC), Pension Schem, Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
AbstractPension is benefit paid to an employee after attaining the statutory required age of retirement or if the employee leaves employment for other reasons. The benefit is meant to guarantee comfortable life after active years of service and also assist in the maintenance of living standard previously enjoyed during the beneficiaries’ active productive years. However, previous attempts by successive governments in Nigeria at instituting a hitch-free workable Pension Scheme have been hampered by inadequate and untimely funding, improper records, endemic fraud and corruption leading to avoidable pains and misery for the retirees and beneficiaries. It was on the account of these challenges in pension administration that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as part of its reform agenda established a new scheme referred to as Pension Reform Act, 2004. The study based on the qualitative research method and employing review of relevant literature takes a critical examination of the Act and concedes that although some inherent defects exist in the operations of the new Pension Scheme, these pitfalls are not fundamental or substantial to compromise or undermine the overall objectives of the Act. The paper therefore calls for an urgent review of some portions of the Pension Act, to check fraud, corruption and abuses currently inherent in the system. To treat these shortcomings with levity the paper contends may be tantamount to the State not playing its dutiful role in taking care of its senior citizens after active and meritorious years of service to the nation and fatherland.
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