The National Pension Commission (PenCom) approved 6,851 applications for annuity retirement plan in the fourth quarter of 2017.

With the approval, the number of retirees receiving their retirement benefits via annuity has risen to 48,539.

The commission, in its 2017 fourth-quarter report posted on its website, stated that the 6,851 retirees received N6.32 billion as lump sum payment while their annuity premium of N35.77 billion was paid to insurance companies

PenCom reported further that N60.29 billion and N241.62 billion were the lump sum and annuity premium payments respectively, adding that the retirees received an average monthly annuity of N2.53 billion as at the end of December, 2017.

On retirees on Programmed Withdrawal, (PW) it stated also that total number of retirees currently receiving their pensions under PW increased from 165,740 in the previous quarter to 174,512 in the fourth quarter, 2017.

According to the commission, this represents 5.29 per cent (8,772) increase from the total retirement recorded via the PW.

Statistical data on the report indicated that retirees under the PW during the quarter of 2017 showed public sector having 68.91 per cent (6,045) of the retirees and private sector, 31.09 per cent (2,727).

In addition, the report showed that 8,772 retirees were paid N21.74 billion as lump sum and N0.28 billion as monthly programmed withdrawals. Similarly, 174,512 retirees were paid 448.90 billion as lump sum and N5.91 billion as monthly programmed withdrawals from inception of CPS to the quarter under review.

On withdrawal of 25 per cent of Retirement Saving Account (RSA), the commission disclosed that approval was granted for payment of N6.54 billion to 17,828 RSA holders, adding that RSA holders are under 50 years, disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of their disengagement.

It stated further that the cumulative total number of disengaged RSA holders who were paid 25 per cent was 250,293 and paid N82.57 billion from inception to the quarter under review, while the private sector accounts for 95.40 per cent (238,786) while the public sector accounts for 4.60 per cent (11,507).

On approval of death benefits, the commission reported that it approved payments of N9.20 billion to the families of 2,028 deceased employees during the fourth quarter under review, noting that the figure increased the cumulative death benefit payments to N138.90 billion, including life insurance of 44,879 of employees who died, both in private and public sectors.

It stated further: “During the fourth quarter, the commission granted approval for the payment of N1.81 billion to 3,403 RSA holders, comprising 321 retirees, made up of federal and state organisations and 3,082 in private sector retirees.

“Cumulatively, 89,844 retirees under these categories received a total sum of N22.07 billion from inception to the end of the fourth quarter of 2017”, the commission added.

On the implementation of CPS by state governments, PenCom reported that 27 state governments continued to make progress in the level of implementation with all of them enacting laws on CPS so far while eight states are at the implementation stage of the CPS Bill.

The commission confirmed that Yobe State was yet to commence the process of enacting a law on CPS and that 12 out of the 36 states had commenced remittance of contributions into the RSAs of their employees.