Workers Fake Death To Get Pension Benefits – NPC

The National Pension Commission has committed to crack down on family members, employees, and retirees who fraudulently claim the death of Contributory Pension Scheme contributors in order to receive payments due to the deceased.

In addition to other methods of verification, PenCom has requested that the banks close the accounts of people who have been reported as dead so that they are unable to open bank accounts in the future.

The regulator for the pension sector made this decision in response to an increase in the number of planned fake deaths intended to withdraw the sums from the Retirement Savings Accounts of workers who were reported as having passed away.

The Head, Benefits & Insurance Department, PenCom, Obiora Ibeziako, disclosed this while speaking on administration of retirement benefits and efforts to safeguard the pensions of workers.

He said, “Nigerians have been dying and resurrecting. If you send us a notification that you are dead, we will make sure that your bank blocks your account also.

“We have seen people fake their own deaths; we have seen spouses fake the deaths of their partners when the PFAs start the due process.

“In fact, in a particular case, they were processing a man’s death benefit and he walked in and everybody picked up. The wife had actually procured obituary announcement, everything that required to be done without the man knowing.”

He added that, “There was a particular case, we called the man and he said yes, he arranged his death that he needed the money.

“So, the PFAs shall seek the commission’s approval to get the legal beneficiaries and the available balance in the deceased RSA account. For any deceased RSA account, the PFA must send the request to the commission for approval.”

PenCom had earlier said in circular that, “The commission has received series of complaints from retirees, who alleged that their PFAs have wrongfully paid their benefits to their next of kins or legal beneficiaries, while they are 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 death of employees.

The pension regulator ordered the PFAs to ensure due diligence and conduct 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.

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