BENIN CITY – The Edo State Government, on Tuesday, kicked off a three-day workshop to sensitise the first batch of intending retirees to benefit from the Contributory Pension Scheme introduced by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in 2017.

Functioning Permanent Secretary/Chairman, Edo State Pension Bureau, Abbe Osaro Washington, said the workshop is to prepare the workers ahead of their migration into the scheme by 2022.

According to him, “The three-day programme is to enable Edo State Government to sensitise those intending retirees that would be disengaging from the system between January and March 2022.

“These intending retirees would be the first to benefit from the new Contributory Pension Scheme introduced by Edo State Government in January 2017.”

He continued: “This is the first set of retirees, to be migrated two months from now. They are the litmus test of the system. The workshop is to let them know what they will be facing as they retire and assure them that the system is not a death sentence.

“They will be the first set to witness the scheme and don’t know what it holds for them, which is what prompted this sensitization.”

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Washington further noted, “The challenges of the former system led the Federal Government to source for another credible system, which led to the present system of pension being operated in this country.

“Over time, pensioners retire monthly without payment of gratuity and only get an irregular pension. This new scheme enables workers to save towards their final disengagement from the system. Workers are asked to contribute eight percent of their monthly pay, while the state adds its own 10 percent matching fund, making it 18 percent.”

Noting some advantages of the new system, the PS stated, “This system enables the retirees to have direct contact with their pension fund administrations by presenting letters of disengagement and by the same month, there would be seamless migration from salary to pension payment.

“It’s a win-win situation for all involved in the scheme as the Government will continue to fulfill its 10 percent matching fund. These are the first set of intending retirees that will be migrating into the contributory pension scheme.”

Addressing the intending retirees, the guest speaker, Mr. Adebola Bello, who spoke on ‘Retirement Benefits Under the Contributory Pension Scheme,’ said the scheme came with modalities, which include transparency and uniform regulation.

“From day one, the retiree’s programme is for 18 years. It doesn’t mean that after 18 years the retiree doesn’t have money there again. There will be funds since the fund is being invested. Returns on investment give value to the Contributory Pension Scheme,” he added.