The Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), has warned retirees to beware of pension fraudsters who pretend as acting on behalf of government to dupe unnoticed retirees.
The Director-General, LASPEC, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, while advising retirees at the 29th Retirement Benefit Bond Presentation Ceremony which took place in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, said the fraudsters do send SMS to retirees requesting them to disclose their sensitive bank details in a bid to access their accounts.
This development, she stressed, has ripped up several retirees, warning others to be sensitive about releasing their sensitive information to untrusted party.
‘We noticed mails and sms are being sent to retirees, telling them to pay to a particular account so that they can be apportioned benefits from federal government,” she stated.
While promising that the commission will keep educating retirees on what is expected of them to do to access their retirement benefits, she urged anybody scammed through this process to report to the commission, who will find a way to get these scammers prosecuted.
Meanwhile, 3,924 retirees in Lagos State civil service were paid a sum of N16.3 billion accrued pension rights in the last 12 months (from August 2015 to July, 2016).
The benefiting pensioners were workers who retired from the Mainstream Civil Service, Local Governments, State Universal Basic Education and other parastatals of state government.
Onanuga, however, advised the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the lump sum they will be paid by their different Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to establish themselves. She also implored them to be careful in the kind of businesses they will invest the pension benefits into, urging them to only engage in businesses they are familiar with so as not to be cajoled by fraudsters.
Onanuga said the Lagos State government has fulfilled her own part of paying the retiree’s entitlements, and that it is now left for the PFAs/Annuity Service Providers to take over the responsibility of paying the retirees their lump sum and pension monthly. She reiterated that the commission will continue to monitor the activities of the pension operators to ensure that they continue to fulfil their obligations to the state retirees.