Pension: Families of 50,811 deceased workers get N156bn claims

Since the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme, relatives of 50,811 dead workers have been paid claims totalling N156.12bn as of the end of June 2018, The PUNCH has learnt.

The figures obtained from the National Pension Commission on Wednesday revealed that the claims were paid by the Pension Funds Administrators and the insurance companies to the beneficiaries.

While the figure was not the actual number of deaths reported, it was discovered that many other applications were pending.

From the figure, 35,923 of the dead workers were Federal Government employees, 3,955 were from the state governments while 10,933 were from the private sector.

PenCom said in the second quarter of 2018, relatives of 2,173 deceased federal workers, 281 from states and 675 from the private sector were paid a total of N9.21bn.

PenCom stated, “The commission approved the payment of N9.22bn as death benefits to the beneficiaries of the 3,129 deceased employees during the quarter under review, which brought the total number of deceased employees from both public and private sectors to 50,811. The amount paid during the quarter moved the total payments of death benefits to N156.12bn.”

The commission noted that the total settlement included the Group Life Insurance paid by the life underwriters and other pension claims by the PFAs.

However, some stakeholders and operators in the insurance industry had decried the plight of relatives of deceased workers who were unable to get death benefits of their dead breadwinners because the Federal Government did not pay the insurance premium.

They berated the government for always delaying in paying the premium, even when the law of ‘No premium no cover’ was in place.

The law stipulates that any worker who died during the period should not be covered by the insurance companies.

In such situations, the Federal Government is expected to pay death settlement to those not covered but it had failed to pay for about three years now.

More than six months after the Group Life Insurance Policy cover of the Federal Government for workers expired, insurance operators have yet to receive renewal premium in 2018.

According to the operations of the GLIP, the premium should be renewed on a yearly basis.

When the cover lapses and it is not renewed on time, relatives of workers who died during such periods are usually not paid by the underwriting companies.

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