FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, 2020
- Question: What does PTAD stand for?
Answer: PTAD is an acronym for Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate. PTAD is a wholly Treasury Funded Extra-Ministerial Department under the Federal Ministry of Finance. PTAD is responsible for the management of pensions under the old pension scheme, (Defined Benefit Scheme) for pensioners who did not transit to the new Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) which is currently in effect in Nigeria.
- Question: What is the difference between the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS)
Answer: The Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) is the pension scheme that was in effect in Nigeria until June, 2007 when it was replaced with the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as stipulated in the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014. Under the DBS, the total pension obligation is borne by government whereas under the CPS, the accumulated pension at retirement is based on a pension plan wherein the employer and employee contributed in varying percentages to build a retirement fund for the employee. In addition, with the CPS, the pension fund exists from the onset and payments can be made as at when due unlike the DBS which is wholly dependent on government treasury for funding.
- Question: Who are the Pensioners under PTAD management? Answer: Federal Public Sector employees eligible to retirement benefits, and who retired on or before the 30th June, 2007, and have worked in any of the pension groups listed below, are under PTAD management in accordance with section 43 (3) of the PRA, 2014 –
- The Civil Service Pension Department (CSPD)
- The Police Pension Department (PPD)
- The Custom, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department (CIPPD)
- The Treasury Funded Parastatals Pension Department (PaPD)
- Question: What of State Pensioners?
Answer: There also some state Pensioners who are entitled to Federal Share of Pensions. To be a State Pensioner with Federal Share, a retiree must have been in the employment of one of the regions of Nigeria before 3rd day of March, 1976 and retired before the 3rd day of March, 2011.
The following public sector employees irrespective of when they retired are however NOT under PTAD’s jurisdiction:
- Judicial Officers of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
- The Intelligence and Secret Services of the Federation
- Question: What is retirement age?
Answer: The Federal Government approved the 35 years of pensionable service or 60 years of age for retirement whichever that comes earlier.
- Question: What is the qualifying length of service for Pension and Gratuity?
Answer: The qualifying length of service for gratuity is now five (5) years, while pension is ten (10) years with effect from 1st June, 1992. Before then, the qualifying length of service for gratuity and pension was 10 and 15 years respectively. An officer who retires voluntarily after qualifying years of service cannot draw pension until he attains the age of forty five (45).
- Question: What are the circumstances under which Pension and Gratuity may be granted?
Answer: Section 3 (1) and (2) of the Pension Decree No. 102 of 1979 stipulates the circumstances under which pension and gratuity may be granted as follows –
- on voluntary retirement or withdrawal after qualifying years of service;
- Statutory retirement. This is where the officer attains the statutory age of 60 years or has worked for 35 years on a pensionable appointment;
- compulsory retirement;
- on the advice of a properly constituted Medical Board certifying that the officer is no longer mentally or physically capable of carrying out the functions of his office;
- on total permanent disability while in service; or
- on abolition of office under section 7 of Pension Decree No. 102 of 1979
- Question: What is the guaranteed period for pension?
Answer: Five (5) years is the guaranteed period for pension under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). A pensioner who retires and he is qualified for pension is to earn pension for life but where the pensioner dies less than five (5) years after his retirement, the balance of five (5) year guaranteed pension will be paid to his Next of Kin (NOK)
- Question: Why is Verification necessary?
Answer: It is necessary for PTAD to carry out Verification Exercise to ascertain the proof of life and create a credible database of all pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). PTAD did not inherit a credible pensioners’ database. Consequently, there is the need to verify all pensioners under the DBS to enable PTAD respond to and resolve pensioners’ complaints promptly, accurately and conclusively. The verification of pensioners is therefore aimed at –
- the establishment of an accurate, credible, and digitized database of pensioners under the DBS;
- for the purpose of achieving prompt complaint resolutions;
- eliminating duplicate payments and ghost pensioners;
- regularizing anomalies such as over payments and under payments;
- obtaining relevant service records to ensure accurate computation of pension payments; and
- updating the records of the Next of Kin (NOK) for payment of death benefits.
- Question: What are the required documents for the verification of a Pensioner?
Answer: The requirements for pensioner’s verification are –
- Letter/Gazette of First Appointment;
- Letter/Gazette of Confirmation of Appointment;
- Letter of Last Promotion;
- Letter of Retirement;
- Computation Sheet (for State pensioners with Federal Share);
- Severance payslip (for downsized pensioners);
- Statement of Account signed and stamped by the Bank;
- BVN print out with picture;
- Birth Certificate or Age Declaration; and
- Means of identification
- Question: What are the required documents for the verification of the Next of Kin of a deceased pensioner?
Answer: The requirements for the verification of Next of Kin are –
- Letter/Gazette of First Appointment of the deceased;
- Letter/Gazette of Confirmation of Appointment of the deceased;
- Letter Last Promotion of the deceased;
- Letter of Retirement of the deceased;
- Death certificate (from Government Hospital/National Population Commission);
- Bank Statement of the diseased from date of retirement to date.
- Letters of Administration issued by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction;
- Computation Sheet of the deceased (for State pensioners with Federal share);
- Severance payslip of the deceased (for downsized pensioners);
- Joint account Statement of account of the Next of Kin;
- BVN print out of the Next of Kin;
- Recognizable means of identification;
- Affidavit of Next of Kin;
- Marriage certificate if it is the wife
- Question: I’m the Next of Kin (NOK) of a deceased pensioner and I have not received any death benefit payment. When will I be paid?Answer: You are required to submit a complaint to PTAD together with the necessary documents listed above. Please note that the files of the Civil Servant who died while in service were sent to the Civil Service Pension Office which PTAD inherited. The deceased Departmental file is likely to be in our archive.
- Question: What should I do since I have missed the general verification exercise and I have never received pension?
Answer: You can walk into any of the Directorate’s offices in Abuja or Lagos with all the relevant documents for your verification. The verification is scheduled as follows:
- Customs, Immigration and Prisons, as well as Parastatal pensioners are treated every Tuesday.
- Civil Service Pensioners are treated every Wednesday
- Police pensioners and Parastatal pensioners are treated every Thursday
However, in light of the COVID 19 pandemic, verification is strictly by invitation. Pensioners must send their documents to email@example.com for review before they are invited for verification
- Question: I am not in Nigeria at the moment and I missed the verification exercise that was previously conducted. My monthly pension has been stopped. What do I do?
Answer: You can go to the nearest Nigerian Embassy or High Commission to you, obtain an “I am alive” Certificate, attach your resident permit and data page of your international passport. Also attach all relevant career progression documents and forward to the Directorate through a third party or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Consequent upon a successful validation, your monthly pension will be restored pending when you make effort to come into the country for verification.
- Question: Do I have to submit all my documents when I have a complaint even after I have been verified?
Answer: Once a pensioner is verified, the submission of documents are no longer a requirement for forwarding of complaints. It is only the verification slip and statement of account (six months) before the period of complaint that will be required.
- Question: I worked in one of the Defunct Parastatals. When is your office coming to verify us?
Answer: Verification for all the Pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme has been concluded by PTAD. Any Pensioner that has not been verified will have to follow the guidance specified in Question 13 towards being verified and subsequently enrolled for Mobile Verification.
- Question: I am not living close to any of your Zonal offices. I am frail and do not have the means to travel. How do I get verified? Is there any other medium that I can use to send in my complaints?Answer: The pensioner can still be verified. He/she should send in the required documents with a full sized photograph, complete contact details, career documents and a medical report ascertaining conditions which are against travels to confirm inability to travel to any of our Zonal offices that is close to him/her through a third party, with a request for Mobile Verification. Once the documents are reviewed and found acceptable, a team of mobile verification officers will be sent to verify him/her.
- Question: My spouse is bedridden and cannot attend the verification exercise. How can he/she be verified?
Answer: You shall be required to follow the guidance specified in Question 17 above, towards being verified and subsequent enrolment for Monthly Pension (MP). You should arrange all the documents as stated in Question 17 above and go to the nearest Zonal Office close to you and inform the Team Lead. He will make arrangement for your husband or wife to be verified at home.
- Question: My husband is your Pensioner, and he has just passed away. The Bank has refused to allow me withdraw money from his account. How can I access his pension and outstanding benefits, if any?
Answer: The Next of Kin is to write and forward notification of death to the office addressed to the Executive Secretary and attention the Director of the relevant Department. The notification should be accompanied by all the relevant documents listed under Question 11 above. The Directorate will write the bank if need be, to release any money accrued to the deceased pensioner(if he is statutorily entitled to same) and outstanding benefit to the deceased Next of Kin will be computed and paid.
- Question: When are you going to start the ‘In-House’ verification in the Zonal offices?
Answer: Plans are under way to extend the in-house verification to other zonal offices but you can be verified in our Abuja and Lagos offices at the moment.
- Question: What is the period of bank statement needed for verification?
Answer: Duly stamped and signed NUBAN Bank statement on the Bank letterhead from period of retirement or date from which complaint was made till date. Where there is no complaint, bank statement for the last six months should be provided.
- Question: Can a sick or bed ridden pensioner be verified?
Answer: Yes. PTAD undertakes mobile verification to homes and hospitals to verify sick and bedridden pensioners who are unable to physically come to our verification centres. To qualify for mobile verification, the pensioner should send proof of incapacity either through a medical report from a recognized government hospital or a picture showing the state or condition of the pensioner. The following categories of pensioners qualify for mobile verification –
- Technically ill Pensioners
- Very old and weak Pensioners
- Infirmed Pensioners
- Question: When will your office organise another verification? Some of us were last verified since 2015.
Answer: The Directorate has completed field verification for all pension Departments which is a one – off exercise. The plan is to conduct “I AM ALIVE” verification in the nearest future. Pensioners will be communicated when this will be conducted and the procedure that it will take.
- Question: What are the likely reasons why a pensioner can be taken off the payroll?
Answer: The reasons why a pensioner will be removed from the payroll are –
- Inconsistent or incomplete employment records;
- Inconsistent or incomplete bank details;
- Consistent failure of person’s payment for three months;
- An over payment of Monthly Pension is discovered;
- Non verification during the verification exercise because the pensioner is not eligible;
- Lack of BVN number;
- Receipt of Death Notification;
- NOK attain the age of 18 years (Death in active Service in line with the provisions of section 6 of Pension Decree 102 of 1979)
- Question: When will I receive my monthly pension arrears?Answer: The Directorate is treasury funded. We wait for releases from the Government and the arrears is paid in batches subject to availability of fund. Once a pensioner is sure that he has submitted all relevant documents, arrears will be paid on completion of the processes and fund is available.
- Question: When am I hoping to be paid my Gratuity?
Answer: PTAD must first establish that the pensioner is eligible to receive gratuity. Payment is subsequently batched and made based on the availability of funds for this purpose.
- Question: When are we going to be paid our balance of 33%?
Answer: The balance of 33% has been paid to all category of Pensioners in PTAD except those pensioners that were not on the payroll at the time of payment.
- Question: I was informed that my pension was stopped because I am operating Joint Account. What is the reason behind that?
Answer: It is because the payment of pension should only be made directly to individual pensioners. A second or third party is not allowed to have access to your pension. Secondly, in the event that a pensioner dies, the pension should be stopped and having a joint account will mean continuous payment and withdrawal of the pension.
- Question: I am a downsized Pensioner and my Gratuity was short paid. Where can I lay my complaint?
Answer: Downsized pensioners who were short paid should direct their complaint to the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) or the Account General’s Office
- Question: I have been verified since 2015, I have never received pension, when will I be paid?
Answer: If you have been verified since 2015 and have not been enrolled into the monthly pension payroll, you may contact us through any of our various channels so we can find out the reason for your non – enrolment.
- Question: I was employed same year with a colleague and retired same year but he earns more than I am earning, why?
Answer: There are several variables that determines what a pensioner earns at retirement, e.g. length of service, step at retirement, rank at retirement, date of retirement. If a pensioner feels he is being short paid, he/she should fill out our complaint form in any of our Zonal offices.
- Question: I have Federal Share of pension in my computation sheet but, your office said because I started work in Primary School I am therefore not entitled to Federal Share. How do I get my Federal Share?
Answer: Primary School Teachers who began work with local authorities are referred to the Local Government Pension Board for their federal share of pension. However primary school teachers that began working with missions are entitled to receive their federal share of pension from PTAD
- Question: Some people do call that we should pay money into their Account before they can process our file. Are they really from your office?
Answer: No. No staff of the Directorate will demand for payment before processing your retirement benefit. Such request should be reported immediately to the office.
- Question: What are the cut off dates for Pure Federal Pensioners and State with Federal Share pensioners?
Answer: The cut-off date for the pure federal pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme is 30th June, 2007 while the cut of date for the State pensioners with Federal share is 31st March, 2011. Also the State Pensioners with Federal Share must have started work on or before 31st March, 1976.
- Question: When are you paying our pension increase since the Salaries of workers have been increased?
Answer: The Federal Government has not approved any increase in pension. Once it is approved and funds are released for the payment, the Directorate will implement the increase for the Pensioners without delay.
- Question: Can spouses who are pensioners use the same or joint account to receive their pension?
Answer: No. Pension is individually based and so cannot be paid into a joint account. See the answer to Question Number 28 above.
- Question: Can a Corporate or a business account be used to receive pension?
Answer: No. Pension payment can only be made to the individual’s personal account.
- Question: As offices are partially open because of COVID 19, are Pensioners allowed to come to the Directorate for submission of complaint?
Answer: Pensioners can submit their complaints in a Drop Box that has been provided at the entrance of all the Directorate’s offices. Alternatively, they can send their complaints by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), 22 Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama, Abuja. Pensioners are dissuaded from visiting PTAD at the moment for their own health and safety. Pensioners that are invited for verification are required to wear a face mask at all time while in PATD, wash their hands, maintain social distance and other protocols as appropriate.
- Question: Is it possible for a Pensioner to earn pension from two sources under PTAD at same time?
Answer: Pensioners are not supposed to have two pay points under the same Government under the Define Benefit Scheme (DBS). They are required to provide letter of transfer of service or merger of service. Those without merger of service or transfer of service will be dropped from one payroll unless they provide any of the two documents mentioned above. This is so because a person cannot be on pension and take up another pensionable appointment.
- Question: When can a break in service be accepted?
Answer: A break in service for the purpose of pursuing a course of study can be condoned (see Circular No. B. 21600/326). The officer seeking condonation of his break in service must submit the application for condonation within three (3) years after he/she returned to Service and the condonation must be approved by the relevant authority before it can take effect.
- Question: What is merger of service?
Answer: An officer’s service can be said to have been merged when the officer leaves a pensionable appointment for another pensionable appointment and applies for the previous service to be merged with the new service. This is done to increase the length of service of the officer for the purpose of computation of pension benefits. It is not enough that the pensioner applied for merger, the application must be approved before the service can be merged or recognized.
- Question: How do I correct an error in my verification slip after I have been verified?
Answer: Send a notification to PTAD attaching a photocopy of the verification print out and the supporting document(s) for the change to be effected.
- Question: Why are Monthly Pension sometimes delayed?
Answer: A number of reasons may cause delay in receiving Monthly Pension, such as –
- Non – availability of funds
- Change in bank records or account numbering system
- Failed payments due to technical glitches on the government’s e-payment platform
- Operational delays by banks (PTAD ensures follow up)
- Question: Is change of date of Birth possible?
Answer: Yes. Only the date of birth recorded at the time of entry into the service is acceptable for processing pension. There is no room for change of information on date of birth as such change does not translate to any possible pension benefit. Requests for change of name should be done in line with the answers under Question Number 47 below.
- Question: How do I correct an error on my verification slip after verification?
Answer: Send a notification to PTAD attaching a photocopy of the verification print out and the supporting documents for the change. See the answer to Question Number 42 above.
- Question: What are the procedures for change of Account or Bank by a Pensioner?
Answer: The pensioner should forward a formal application letter addressed to the Executive Secretary explaining the reason for the change of account. He should attach the following documents to the application-
- Statement of account of the old account,
- Statement of account of the new account,
- BVN slip, and
- Letter of non-indebtedness from the old bank
Thereafter, he will be required to complete a certificate of indemnity in a prescribed form to indemnify the Directorate from any form of liability that may arise from the change of Account or Bank.
- Question: What are the procedures for change of name?
Answer: The Pensioner should forward a formal application letter addressed to the Executive Secretary explaining the reason for the change of name. The application should be accompanied with the following documents-
- Birth certificate or Affidavit of Declaration of age,
- National Identity Card issued by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),
- Identity card,
- Newspaper publication,
- BVN slip ,
- Statement of Account,
- Marriage Certificate for married women,
- Certificate of indemnity in a prescribed form to indemnify the Directorate from any liability arising from the change of name.
- Question: What are the likely reasons for change of name by a pensioner?
Answer: The main reasons why people change their name are reflect change in-
- Marital status such as marriage, divorce, etc;
- Change of Family name
- Question: What is the relevance of BVN in processing retirement and death benefits?
Answer: The BVN is relevant because it serves as-
- A direct link between a person and his/her account;
- The best form of identification
- A guide to ensure the right beneficiary is being paid.
- Question: Can a Pensioner occupy Government house and pay rent or the purchase price with his pension?
Answer: No. Not at the moment. Government does not provide accommodation for its pensioners. Once a public servant occupying government house exits from service, he will be given certain period of time to relocate so that the accommodation will be transferred to those in service.
- Question: What are the features of a valid Letters of Administration?
Answer: Letters of Administration are usually granted by a probate registry of a High Court to appoint appropriate person(s) or institution to administer the estate of a deceased person in line with applicable laws and regulation such as the Administration of Estate Laws, 2005
A valid Letters of Administration must contain the following features-
- Name of the Court(High Court);
- Name of Deceased;
- Date Granted;
- Place of Death;
- Name and addresses of the beneficiaries;
- Value of property;
- Seal of the Court; and
- Registration Number of the Letters.
- Question: Which of the Courts is saddled with the responsibility of issuing Letters of Administration?
Answer: The High Court of a State or FCT High Court. Letters of Administration purportedly issued by Magistrates or Customary Courts are not admissible.
- Question: What is the difference between a valid Letters of Administration and Enrolment of Order? Do we accept Enrolment orders? If we don’t then I think this would be complex
Answer: Enrolment of Order is a summary of the judgment of a Court for enforcement, while Letters of Administration are granted by a probate registry of the High Court to appoint appropriate person(s) that would administer the estate of the deceased.
- Question: What is the importance of a SEAL in Letters of Administration? Can Letters of Administration be authentic without it?
Answer: Red seal or the seal of the Court as the case may be, must be affixed to a Letter of Administration to authenticate the document.
- Question: Can an Enrolment of Order by a Magistrate or Customary Court be used to access a deceased Pensioner’s benefit?
Answer: No, please refer to the answer to Question No.52 above. This is because the issuance of a Letter of Administration is a judicial function performed by the Probate Division of the High Court pursuant to the Rules of the Court. The grant of Letters of Administration requires public Notice.
- Question: Where one of the Beneficiaries in the Letters of Administration is out of the Country, how can the other beneficiaries access the death benefit of the Pensioner?
Answer: The beneficiary that is in diaspora (outside the Country) may donate a Power of Attorney duly authenticated by a Notary Public or a Commissioner for Oaths in favour of the beneficiaries that are domiciled in Nigeria. (See section 110 of the Evidence Act, 2011)
- Question: Where there is a conflict between the names in the Record of Service and Letters of Administration, which one takes precedent?
Answer: The Letters of Administration will take precedence if issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction considering that it is a later time.
Where there are conflicting Letters of Administration, the Directorate may have no other option than to rely on the Records of Service.
- Question: What is the relevance of Affidavit in processing retirement benefit or death benefit?
Answer: An Affidavit is used to attest the identity of the Deponent, to provide support to the Police Extract in the case of loss of documents and attest to change of name.
- Question: What are the features and contents of an Affidavit?
Answer: an affidavit must contain the following features-
- the Heading of the Court,
- Deponents full name,
- Trade, Profession, Residence and Nationality,
- the purpose for which the deponent is deposing to the affidavit,
- the paragraph showing that the affidavit in tune with the Oaths Act in force,
- the signature of the Deponent,
- stamp and signature of the Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public; and
- the passport photograph of the Deponent.
- Question: Does PTAD accept an Affidavits that is obtained from Magistrate Courts?
Answer: Yes. Affidavits are acceptable provided it is endorsed by a Magistrate, Commissioner for Oath or Notary Public.
- Question: I had fire incident and all my original document were burnt. I have an Affidavit without Police Extract. Can you accept it?
Answer: No. You will need the Police Extract to get valid Affidavit. In addition, you will require to submit a letter of introduction from the Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) you retired from duly signed by the authorised Head of the MDA.
- Question: The documents with me are photocopies and have not been certified. Do you think that PTAD will accept them? They are photocopies. If not, what do I do to certify the photocopied documents?
Answer: Where a party brings a photocopy of a document without presenting the original, he should attach an affidavit stating the reason why the original document is absent or present a Certified True Copy photocopy of the Originals as the case maybe.
- Question: Can a Power of Attorney authorise a third part to stand in for a Pensioner during verification, where the Pensioner is out of the Country?
Answer: No. The Pensioner must be present for verification. Pension is personal.
- Question: What is Power of Attorney?
Answer: Power of Attorney is an instrument (a document in writing) usually by way of a Deed, signed, sealed and delivered, by which the Principal called the ‘’Donor’’ appointed an agent called the ‘’Donee’’ and confers authority on him to perform certain specified acts or kinds of acts on his behalf, as if he is the one doing them.
- Question: What are the features of Power of Attorney?
Answer: A valid Power of Attorney must have the following features-
- Identifiable Parties to wit, the Donor and the Donee of the delegate power,
- Be in writing and under seal (signed, sealed and delivered)
- Be issued for valuable consideration and fixed period of time
- The Donor and Donee must be persons with legal capacity in law to enter into a valid contract;
- Attested to or authenticated by a Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths
- Power of Attorney should be stamped within 40 days of execution and registered within 60 days of execution.
- Question: Can a Power of Attorney that has been signed by a Notary Public be said to be genuine/acceptable?
Answer: Yes. There is presumption of authenticity of Power of Attorney if it is attested to by a Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths, Magistrate or a Judge.
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