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According to him, lessons learnt from the Seminar Series will help to enrich the debate about the future of the Nigerian Public Service and its role in the delivery of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

While presenting the inugural lecture titled:“ The New Pension Reform Act, 2014 and it’s implocations for Public Service”, the Ag. Director General of National Pension Commission, Mrs Chinelo Anohu- Amazu, said the new pension Reform Act of 2014 now covers states and local Governments employees and private organisation with 3 or more staff. She was represented by Dr. Umar Farouk Aminu who presented the lecture on her behalf.

Mrs Anohu-Amazu further stated that under this new act, Programmed withdrawal and Annuity are accepted modes of accessing Retirements Benefits, adding that eligable Professors shall take their full terminal benefits in line with Universities(Misc) Act while other employees entitled under their conditions of service to retire with full benefits can also do so.

She also said that the Federal Government has also created Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate(PTAD) as an Extra-Ministerial Department under Federal Ministry of Finance to prepare payroll for direct payment to pensioners’ bank account by Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation out of Budgetary allocation with Central Bank of Nigeria.

Also, under this new act the Pension Protection Fund was created to carter for funding Minimum Pension Gurantee (MPE) and to serve as compensation for shortfall or financial losses from investment activities.

The Director-General of PENCOM drew attention to offences and penalities under this Act which states attracts fine of amount equal to 3 times the amount mismanaged or 10 years imprisonment or both.

While drawing the attention to the fact that existing schemes and Pension Fund Administrators are now closed to new employees, she explained that under this new scheme, persons who loose their jobs and cannot find one within 4 months can access up to 25% of the retirement savings account as a buffer till they get new jobs.

Mrs Anohu-Amazu also shared the good news that Pension Fund Investment Income by this Act is tax exempt and that the board which reports directly to the President has been expanded to include Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Stock Exchange and National Insurance Commission.

Anastasia Ogbonna

for: Head Stratgic Communications

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