Pensioners, across the states of the federation have called on the Federal Government to re-introduce the payment of gratuity for pensioners.
The pensioners, who are under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), said the government was deliberately shying away from its responsibility; claiming that there was no provision in the current Pension Reforms Act that outlawed the payment of gratuity to pensioners.
The pensioners vowed to continue to fight for their gratuity within the ambit of the law.
Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Contributory Pension Scheme Sector, Comrade Slyva Nwaiwu who spoke at the second post inaugural congress of the union in Abuja, said it is the right of retired civil servants who have spent the required years in service to receive gratuity.
Comrade Nwaiwu said: “Gratuity is a right of any public worker who retired from service after five to 35 years of service, those who put in 10 to 35 years receive pension in addition.
“The introduction of the CPS was to address the burden of monthly pension liabilities on the government and not that of gratuity. Hence, there is a section of the Pension Reform Act before and as amended by the 2014 Pension Reform Act that explicitly removed gratuity as a legitimate right to retirees.
“In the old Defined Benefit Scheme, government pays gratuity to the retirees and thereafter continues to pay monthly pension. In the CPS, government is restricted to the payment of gratuity while the monthly pension of retirees accrue from the combined contributions by government and the workers. However, from the inception of the CPS, government has tactically ignored the legitimacy of this important factor in the engagement agreement, without any legal or constitutional justification, thus shortchanging the CPS retirees.”