Thursday, 18 August 2016
DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE STRATEGY FOR PENSION ADMINISTRATION IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The greatest challenge to government worldwide remains the issue relating to pension fund management. A financial analyst called Alexandra Forbes argues “Pension Management, world over, has become an increasingly great concern to most government and countries of the world”.
And coming to Nigeria, the country was guided by a number of pension regimes prior to the promulgation of the pension Act 2004, pension schemes in Nigeria had been bedeviled with many pitfalls. The public service operated an unfounded defined benefit schemes and the payment of retirement benefits were budgeted annually. The annual budgetary allocation for pension was often one of the most vulnerable items in budget implementation in even where budgetary provisions were made, inadequate and untimely release of fund resulted in delays and accumulation of arrears of payment of pension rights. It is then obvious that, the defined benefit scheme could not be sustained.
In the private sector on the other hand, many employees were not covered by the pension scheme put in place by their employers and many other schemes were not funded. Besides, where the schemes were funded, the management of the pension funds was full of malpractices between the fund management and the trustees of the pension board.
The scenario agitated a re-think of pension administration in Nigeria by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo`s administration, accordingly, the administration initiated a pension reform in order to address, eliminate and eradicate the problems associated with pension reform act 2004.
Good times come and go, retirement is definite, and the question therefore is “Can people still live a good life after retirement”? The non-implementation of budgeted income to pensioners, a non-effective strategy for pension administration is seemingly a growing problem in Nigerian economy. Some retirees are forced to continue to work throughout their life not out of choice but for lack of means of sustenance at old age. They are therefore forced to go in search of menial jobs to make ends meet, since they are not even sure of getting their pensions.
Apart from the stress associated with working at old age, how relevant can an individual be at age 70 or 80 in the face of ever changing knowledge brought about by advancement in technology? Besides, of what use is life without rest at old age? Even where one is willing and able to continue working, the opportunity for the elderly to continue working is declining. However, it is against this backgrounds that the researcher wishes to develop effective strategy for pension administration in the Nigeria public sector.
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