The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has advised Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in the country to conduct investigations on death certificates presented by beneficiaries of the deceased contributors before payment of death benefits.

The commission’s Acting Director-General, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, gave the advice on Wednesday in a statement issued following series of complaints from retirees received by the PenCom that some PFAs paid death benefits to their next-of-kins even while still active in service.

She maintained it had become imperative for the PFAs to curb the menace and strengthen the process of payments of the death benefits by improving on their internal risk control, investigation of documents submitted by beneficiaries before forwarding request for payment to the commission for approval.

The pension management expert said: “Other measures include conducting search at the probate registry to confirm the genuineness of the Letter of Administration and verification of information on named administrator and sureties.

“Contacting employers of the deceased for confirmation of his or her death. PFAs must ensure that the affixed current passport photograph of the next-of-kin is certified by the deceased employer.

“Legal beneficiaries must be required to submit a valid means of identification or a letter from a Notary Public, where a means of identification is not readily ascertained. PFAs must confirm that the death certificate was issued by the hospital or police report in case death was by an accident”, Dahir-Umar stated.