The relatives of 2,304 deceased workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme got N13.36bn benefits between July and September 2022.
The National Pension Commission disclosed this in its 2022 third-quarter quarterly report obtained by our correspondent.
The report revealed that the payments were made to the relatives of 1,722 late employees in the public sector and 582 late employees in the private sector.
The pension regulator stated, “During the quarter under review, approvals were granted for payment of death benefits amounting to N13.36bn to the legal beneficiaries/administrator of 2,304 deceased employees and retirees. This comprised of 1,722 public (FGN & State) and 582 private sector employees/retirees.”
PenCom recently revised the regulation of the administration of retirement and terminal benefits in its reviewed guidelines on the processing of benefits under the CPS.
The regulation, it stated that to process death benefits, the legal beneficiary(ies) of the deceased person must submit relevant documents to the Pension Fund Administrators, including a completed death notification form.
It added that the person must submit a letter of administration and the beneficiary must hand in a signature verification letter issued by the banker to the legal beneficiary(ies)/estate of the deceased; evidence of death, which shall be either a certificate of death issued by PenCom (where death occurs at home), and any one of some documents.
The supporting documents required are a burial warrant issued by a local government council; evidence of death/burial issued by an Islamic community, head or judge of a Sharia court; evidence of death issued by a leader of a registered church; copy of obituary poster (if any); or certificate of cause of death issued by the hospital (where death occurs in hospital); or police report (if the death does not occur from a natural cause; a letter from the employer confirming the employee’s death, where the RSA holder dies in service; and any other relevant document as may be specified from time to time by the commission.
The PenCom also vowed to go tough on relatives, workers and retirees who fake the deaths of contributors to the Contributory Pension Scheme in order the get the benefits entitled to deceased persons.
In order to establish the death of a contributor apart from other means of verification, PenCom also asked the banks to close the accounts of deceased contributors so that they would not be able to operate bank accounts again in the country.
The growing incidences of fake deaths being organised to get out the balances in the Retirement Savings Accounts of reported dead workers, made the pension industry’s regulator put in place these measures.
PenCom had earlier said in a circular, “The commission has received a series of complaints from retirees, who alleged that their PFAs have wrongfully paid their benefits to their next of kin or legal beneficiaries, while they were still alive and in active service without their consent.
“Following these complaints and reports by the PFAs, it has become imperative to issue additional measures to curb these complaints and strengthen the processes and practices of processing and payment of death benefits.”
PenCom ordered the PFAs to contact the employer of the deceased for verification and confirmation of the death of employees
The pension regulator ordered the PFAs to ensure due diligence and conduct a search at the probate registry of the issuing authority to confirm the genuineness of the documents as well as the verification of the information of the named administrator and sureties.