By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos
THE Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has said it’s not responsible for the non-payment of the 33 per cent pension increment to the retired staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), that was approved by the federal government in 2010.
The Directorate said the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission, the government agency responsible for policy statement on emoluments including pensions had directed it – through a letter of approval Ref: SWC/S/04/S.542/26 of 26th September 2014 it not to include the retired staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the pension increase of 33 per cent.
“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 Harmonized Salary Structures of the Federal Public Service.
“It should be noted that PHCN pensioners took the Federal Government to the National Industrial Court (NIC) Abuja on this issue. After several engagements, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the implementation of 9.7% 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 is therefore preposterous and uncalled for that this group wants to conveniently forget the amicable agreement reached by all parties and arm-twist the Federal Government to make claims on the 33% pension increment,” PTAD said in a statement it issued on Friday.
The pensioners reportedly alleged that PTAD colluded with some “powerful individuals” to deprive them of the 33% pension increment as approved by the federal government in 2010.
The statement said President, Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is committed to pensioners welfare and has consistently demonstrated this by approving the payment of outstanding pension arrears and regular payment of monthly pensions.