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Retirees To Get Benefits Before Leaving Service

Prospective retirees in the Rivers State Civil Service would soon heave a sigh of relief as efforts are in top gear to enable them get their retirement benefits before leaving the Service.

Head of Service, Barr. Samuel LongJohn stated this at a meeting he held with the Management Committee of the One Stop Shop for Pension Matters, in the State Civil Service.

Barr. LongJohn explained that the One Stop Shop for Pension Matters was set up to address the issue of delay payment of retirement benefits.

He noted that in the present set up Ministries department and agencies involved in the Pension documentation are brought under one roof to fast track the process.

Barr. LongJohn said that if everything worked out as planned, retirees would get their entitlement before leaving the Service.

He stressed that the bulk of the problem in the documentation process was the delay in the processing of retirement letter from the Civil Service Commission and other Agencies.

The Head of Service, therefore, called for cooperation among all stakeholders, including prospective retirees who are expected to begin processing of their document between six and three months to the commencement date of their retirement to enable them follow up while still in Service.

Barr. LongJohn further pointed out that the essence of the initiative was to alleviate the difficulties encountered by retirees as well as have seamless transition from the present Defined Benefit Scheme to the Contributory Pension Scheme.

”By the 1st of July, 2015, the Contributory Pension Scheme is supposed to take of fully. What we have on ground now is such that if we work rightly this part of the process, we will now have a seamless transition to the new Scheme,” the Head of Service said.

While presenting a brief on the modus operandi for the One Stop Shop, the Chairman of the Management Committee, Dr. Rogers Weli said the Shop, constitutes relevant department from the Establishment Bureau, the Ministry of Finance, Justice, Audit Department, Judiciary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Rivers State Post Primary Schools Board (REPPSB), Rivers State Hospitals Management Board (RSHMP) and the Civil Service Commission.

Dr. Roger said upon receipt of a copy of retirement letter by the concerned MDA and appropriate document the Pension Desk Officer will return the documents to the shop for speedy action by the relevant departments and agencies.

He said with the co-operation of all the staff, the retirees would get a letter of authority for payment within 30 to 60 days of the commencement of documentation.

Dr. Rogers called for regular update of staff nominal rolls and appealed to Directors of Administration in the respective MDAs to notify staff who are due retirement to enable them apply for approval papers on time.

He added that a training programme would be organized for all key officers to properly enlighten them on the operations of the One Stop Shop.

The occasion, which was attended by over 100 key officers, featured questions and answers session.

The One Stop Shop for Pension Matters is located at the Ground Flood of Podium Block in the State Secretariat Complex.

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