The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has launched an online application to capture the information of retirees and process the benefits due to them.
In 2020, PenCom had explained that it would introduce an electronic process for easy authentication of retirees due to COVID-19.
The commission said the process would include self-assisted and the pension fund administrator (PFA) assisted options.
With this application, the commission said it aims to capture about 11,000 civil servants who are billed to retire in 2021.
Anyim Nyerere, PenCom commissioner, Technical, told reporters in Abuja on Monday on the sidelines of a training for Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) at the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Nyerere said the application was developed owing to the fact that physical contact has been limited because of COVID-19, adding that it will help the federal government draw up the budget for retirees.
“In terms of value, we are in a dynamic situation, this exercise was supposed to be physical capturing of the would-be retirees of 2020 and 2021 years,” Nyerere said.
“Now it is not impossible to do it because of COVID-19 pandemic, so that is why the online application was developed. The benefit [of this app] is to enable us to capture the would-be retirees which would enable the budget proposal for the retirees by the federal government.”
The commissioner also said measures have been taken to ensure that information about the retirees are not hacked.
“About the safety mechanisms, like I told you, we are aware of what is happening in the cyber world and that is why we put in some control mechanisms, that is why you heard me mention about authorisation, there are people who will authorise from the various PDOs in the ministries, agencies and departments,” he said.
“Once we have the authorisation from that place, the same thing will have to be verified at the other end.
“This training session and the people you see here are pension desk officers (PDOs) from the various MDAs.
“These would-be retirees are from these MDAs, so automatically the information is at their doorsteps, and those that are not computer literate is why this training is germane, these desk officers will put them through to ensure that the right information is provided.”
Also speaking, Abdulhaman Saleem, head contribution, bound and redemption of the commission, said receiving information electronically will enable PenCom to process the benefits of the retirees faster.
“The number of retirees we are expecting, we are looking at 11,000 retirees for 2021, and the major benefit is accuracy and timeliness in terms of processing speed,” Saleem said.
“Initially we were doing manually, physically, collecting documents but now the documents will be sent electronically which makes it faster and easier to process.”