The Nigeria Police Force Pension Fund Administrators Limited has doubled its growth from N500 billion to N1 trillion in three years, The Eagle Online has learnt.
According to available information, based on the improved performance, the NPFPF now ranks number four among pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
The cheering news is coming amid clamour for the NPF to be removed from the contributory pension scheme and treated like the Military, which has its pensions fully paid by the Federal Government.
However, the full payment of pensions to the Military has its own peculiarities as the Military Pensions Board is completely at the mercy of the Federal Government releasing money to meet the need.
With the state of the economy, the government has been struggling, especially in the last 10 years, to adequately fund the MPB.
For the NPF, beyond the complaints of transfer of personnel that affects gathering of adequate data, not receiving up-to-date statement of accounts and alert of savings, which sources said have all been adequately addressed, the Management of the pension administration team, led by the Managing Director, Dr. Hamza Sule Wuro Bokki, has been working round the clock to make things better.
According to insiders, the issues surrounding gathering adequate data, not receiving up-to-date statements of accounts and alert of savings have been resolved in dynamic ways to the satisfaction of the Police Service Commission, Police Management Team and the National Pension Commission, which supervises Pension Fund Administrators.
In order to ensure that there is no delay in payment, N500 million is set aside yearly for retirees.
So as soon as policemen retire, notwithstanding their duty post, they get paid in order to enable them return to their families and vacate the barracks for the next occupant, for those who use the police facility.
According to inside sources, this move was made in order to bridge the gap between when personnel retire from service and when their pension gets paid by the PenCom.
Once a personnel completes the required documentation, within the Command where he or she last served, payment is made within 14 days.
And after the lump sum, the pension is paid on the 15th of every month, except it falls on a weekend.
For those who retire as Commissioners of Police and below, it was learnt that they receive 300 percent of their last salary to augment their pension.
Sources said the decision by the NPF Pension Fund Administrators Limited was taken because at some point, a Commissioner of Police was receiving about N126,000 monthly as salary.
And based on the room given by the PenCom for additional incentives, the management of the NPF Pension Fund took the initiative.
Also in order to meet the yearnings of pensioners, the Management of the Fund opened 66 branches to take services to the policemen.
It was gathered that all service Formations and Commands have branches of the NPF Pension Fund Administrators Limited.
That way, according to an insider: “No policeman or women retiring need travel to start the process of getting paid.
“Branches are located within the police establishments, documentation done within.
“Perhaps this was one of the reasons that the NPF Pension Fund was tops in investment returns in 2022.
“Even up till about a week ago, it was still top.
“I am yet to check this week as I speak with you.”
On the push by policemen to get moved back to the non-contributory pension scheme, which was backed with a protest at the National Assembly by some persons, a source said if only they knew the disadvantages in it, they wouldn’t contemplate it.
Apart from the fact that the burden, projected at over N2 trillion, will not be easily met by the Federal Government, getting paid on time like it is happening now will be virtually impossible.
The source said the funds with the NPF Pension Fund Administrators Limited is safe as even not the government can have access to it as it is invested like those of other Pension Fund Administrators.
The source added: “No one can touch the deduction.
“The fund has a safety net.
“PenCom has N17 trillion at some point.
“Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said he needed it for projects at some point.
“He didn’t know that 70 percent of the money was already with the government in terms of bonds, with the remaining 30 percent invested.
“I will say he virtually walked away in anger because his thought was that the money was just lying in a bank account without being used.
“But that is not the case.
“We are using these funds to generate more money and that is why payment to retirees is assured unlike what happens with the Military, where every payment is dependent on the government, which now has a dwindling account.
“So if the police exit from here, according to the last bill passed by the National Assembly, it means the government will budget for the money yearly.
“And then we return to the ear of Abdulrasheed Maina, where we need about N2 trillion yearly, if the police alone is exited.
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“This is because personnel will pay nothing again as a contribution.
“And just imagine that there are about 30,000 police retirees on a monthly pension.
“So if this is scrapped, the money will be returned to the owners and the government.
“All will get their parts of the fund and the government will then have to cough out N2 trillion yearly, whereas as of now, the Fund is able to meet the needs of pensioners, even with the additional 300 percent paid to CPs and below.”