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House Passes Bill to Exempt National Assembly from Contributory Pension Scheme

The House of Representatives yesterday passed through second reading a bill to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014 to exempt personnel of National Assembly Service from the contributory pension scheme and to establish the National Assembly Service Pensions Board.

The Bill titled, “Bill for an Act to Amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014 to Exclude/Exempt the National Assembly Service from the Contributory Pension Scheme and Establish the National Assembly Service Pension Board; and for Related Matters (HB. 2025),” was sponsored by the Chairman Committee on National Planning and Economy Development, Hon. Olododo Cook.

Leading the debate, Cook said the bill intended to exit the National Assembly Service from the application of the contributory pension’s scheme under the Pensions Reform Act, 2014, and the board when established would be charged with the responsibility of administering the pension’s scheme for personnel of the Service.

According to him, “The proposed amendments provide that there is established a Pension Board (in this bill referred to as ‘the Board’) which shall be charged with the responsibility of managing payment of pensions and gratuities to all personnel of the Service.

“The bill shall apply to all personnel of the National Assembly Service including those who had retired before the commencement of this bill. The retirement benefits of personnel referred to in sub-section (2) shall be adjusted to be commensurate with the provisions of this bill.

“They shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, all such sums of money as may, from time to time, be granted by the federal government by way of pension and gratuity in accordance with this bill.

“The proposed legislation states that no pension or gratuity shall be granted to any personnel except on his retirement from the Service in any of the following circumstances. (a) after serving for forty (40) years or attained the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier; (b) upon voluntary retirement after serving for not less than ten years; (c) upon compulsory retirement under the provisions of Section 5 (1) of this bill; (d) upon compulsory retirement for the purpose of facilitating improvements in the Service, so that greater efficiency or economy may be effected.”
In his brief comment, the Speaker Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said the bill was important as it seeks autonomy of the National Assembly so that the parliament would not be attached to the effrontery of the Executive.

In a related development, the House during the consideration of reports at its Committee of the Whole, okayed a bill to make provisions for retirement age of staff of legislative houses in Nigeria.

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