Obaseki’s Pension Reforms: Edo tops states with valid life insurance for workers
On the back of far-reaching reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in furtherance of its commitment to the welfare of workers, Edo State has been listed among three states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with valid Group Life insurance cover for workers.
According to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Edo State, Lagos, Kaduna and the FCT have been consistent with their subscription to the scheme while some other states are still at the preliminary stage of implementation.
A 2020 Mid-Year Report by the Edo State Pension Bureau revealed that: “The sum of N80, 713,446.34 was paid as premium for 9,803 Edo State employees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), who are beneficiaries of the state’s Group Life Insurance cover. From the commencement of the CPS on 1st January 2017 till date, a total sum of N 81,169,724.24 has been paid to families of 34 deceased employees of the State Public Service who were enrollees of the CPS.”
The state government also expended over N4.3 billion in clearing the backlog of outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners in the state and another N25, 047,472,632.77 in the monthly pension payment of 13,081 pensioners from November 2016 to May 2020.
PenCom in a notice entitled: ‘Re: Compliance with Guidelines for Life Insurance Policy for Employees and Submission of Insurance Certificate for 2020,’ stated that it was the right of all employees in the public service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory and states that have implemented the Contributory Pension Scheme as well as private sector, under Section 4(5) of the PRA 2014 to have life insurance policy taken on their behalf by their employers for an insured amount of not less than three (3) times their annual total emolument.
According to the regulator, in accordance with the provisions of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 and Section 5.5 of the Guidelines for Life Insurance Policy for Employees, employers of labour covered by the PRA 2014 are required to submit copies of the Insurance Certificates with the schedule of benefits to PenCom.
Available data showed that about 2.5 million civil servants in the country are missing out of the benefits of Group Life Insurance cover, following the inability of 33 states to sign on to the policy, against the mandate of Pension Reforms Act (PRA) 2014.
Group life cover is a joint regulation of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and PenCom, as provided for in Section 9 (3) of PRA 2014, requiring every employer, to which the Act applies, to maintain Life Insurance Policy in favour of the employee for a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employee. The policy provides cover to the insured against death.