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1.1 Background of Study
In the traditional Nigerian society, aged parents look up to their children for support and this is one reason that the average numbers of children in Nigeria home are usually more than those of their counterparts in more developed countries. The home is therefore the bedrock of provision for the old. This arrangement therefore instates the role of a pension scheme on a less final setting. It would be appropriate at this junctures to briefly give the meaning of a pension. Pension can be defined as a series of regular payments provided by government or former employer for a person who has come to the end of his normal working life. It is an income during retirement at its most basic level. Such an income will assist the retired person to survive and depending on the amount and on any other means he may have, it may also enable him continue to enjoy some of the luxuries which he could afford during his working life. As earlier indicated, it is evident now that the Nigerian traditional society simply substitutes the large extended family as a pension scheme. Members of the family collectively make every provision required by the retired for his/her upkeep until death. This method of course is crude and not very effective one which can be illustrated as thus: Assuming the retired has an infirmity this would mean double trouble for the supporting family and where the loss by accidental means one can retire only imagine the plight of such a retiree and dependents. In order not to dabble much into that aspect, we will now examine the background of the pension scheme itself. Accordingly, pension dates back to the twelfth century and in those time, it was only through local manors or boroughs that protection was obtained from hardship and also within the confines of the community that guilds distributed relief. At that time though it was only regarded as relief for the old and poor and not necessary as a benefit for service rendered during one’s working days. These guilds were founded on religious or charitable basis and as time went on, merchants and craft guild were also founded. Gradually as strong central government emerged, caring of the poor because a national issue rather than a local responsibility so legislature concerning the poor because common.
As time wants on, the occupational pension scheme which established a right to a pension as a result of previous employment was also introduced and this is where, we are most concerned with in this research work.
In Nigeria generally, pension scheme does not import much meaning to the workers, not to mention its usefulness. It still has not rested its full weight on the Nigerian populace because all they see and know about is that it is some sort of income which one is supposed to be entitled to after retirement but never gets. This is the present position of what the average Nigerian worker feels and knows of pension, which is pathetic. What is the cause of this situation? How do we go about correcting the system? All these and other questions will enable us straighten out the present position of pension schemes in Nigeria using Enugu state as a case study. Many Nigerian workers after retirement from active service whether voluntary or otherwise are not aware of what entitlements they are entitled to as pension or where there is awareness, those in authority seen to be up to one thing or the other in order to delay the commencement and safe of the retiring employee’s pension.
Experts in Nigeria agree that due to the fact that most workers become dejected and worn-out after retirement, not a few of them (workers) look up to their retirement period with optimism.
While the retired civil servants could be slightly better if as they are entitled to monthly stipends in the firm of pensions their counterparts in the private sector are not so lucky. They receive theirs en-bulk at the initial time of retirement and no more. Therefore it becomes difficult for them to plan and carry out their obligations which they still carry along with them regardless of their fresh status, as retried workers. Another area where this research would tend to examine are the reasons being given for the delay in payments of gratuities and pensions which range from structural defects in payment arrangement in relation to bureaucracy, fraud and mismanagement of pension funds, though the Nigerian constitution on the protection of pensioners safe “The right of a pension in all the public service of the federation to receive pension or gratuity shall be regulated by law. Any benefit to which a person is entitled shall not be withheld to his disadvantage it however, is salient on when payments should be made and penalties for delay. It is against this background that this research work will be established and recommendation made curb the present disheartening situation as regards pension schemes in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Life is in phases and retirement is a phase. However, the way and manner one gets into a phase and manages the phases determines both the outcome of that phase and the longevity. Retirement in this part of the world can be describe as a time to rest from active service. To some retirees it’s a moment to take rest, to others it’s a time set aside for one to stop working, to some others it’s a time to wait for death while to some it’s a period to contribute meaningfully to some areas in their life and the lives of others. Whatever way you see retirement, the end point is that it relates to those who have served in one capacity or the other during their useful lives. Retirement however goes with a form remuneration called pension. This pension is not a gift to the retiree rather it’s his entitlement and must be given to him. But we see a situation in Nigeria where men and women who have served this country in one capacity or the other beg for their entitlement and sometimes, they are delayed or even denied. It’s absurd to note here that lack of pension to the retirees has contributed to their early death. Some have turned agents of doom because their entitlement are not given to them. While others has simply sighed and regretted ever serving meritoriously. It is wise to categorically state here that the government on her part is also trying to correct these errors in the system and have engaged some corporate bodies to help out. It is the objective of this study to examine the pension scheme in Nigeria to understand its effects on the Nigerian worker. How has the scheme so far benefitted the Nigerian workers?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The objectives of the study are enumerated as follows:
a. To determine the effects of pension scheme on the Nigerian workers.
b. To determine the challenges of pension administration in Nigeria.
c. To recommend ways for an effective pension scheme administration.
1.4 Research Question
a. Has the pension scheme in Nigeria affected positively the Nigeria worker?
b. What are the challenges of pension scheme in Nigeria?
c. What are the effective ways for pension administration in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: The pension scheme has not significantly affected the Nigerian worker.
H1: The Pension scheme has significantly affected the Nigerian worker.
H20: There are no significant challenges for the Nigeria pension scheme.
H21: There are significant challenges for the Nigerian pension scheme.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance or import of this study is such that would be a useful parameter in the following ways:
a. Reward for loyal service
b. Promote efficiency within an organization by making it possible for older employees to retiree without fear of poverty and wretchedness.
c. Help employers attract the right types of staff and retain them
d. Encourage good employer/employee relationship
The study will also be an invaluable contribution to the following groups:
a. Employers of Labour
b. Slate and local government Authorities
c. Management and staff of the Nigerian social insurance trust fund
d. Federal government
e. Insurance and brokerage companies
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The scope of this study will be limited to Enugu State and focus on two public limited companies Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and NNPC but focusing mainly on Nigerian Nationally Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It is anticipated that the result of this research would provide valuable insight for a possible re-valuation of not only the target companies but other companies administration of pension scheme.
Time constraint was a major limitations in presenting this research work as the incessant disruption of academic would not encouraged one to carry on with school chores and finally when academic eventually began, only a short period was set aside before examinations would commence, with the present economic for more than 5 years.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Pension: A pension is a type of retirement plan that provides monthly income in retirement. With a pension plan, the employer contributes money to the pension plan while you are working. The money will be paid to you, usually as a monthly check in retirement, after you reach a specific retirement age.
Employees: An individual who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment, whether oral or written, express or implied, and has recognized rights and duties. Also called worker.
Remuneration: Reward for employment in the form of pay, salary, or wage, including allowances, benefits (such as company car, medical plan, pension plan), bonuses, cash incentives, and monetary value of the noncash incentives
1.9 Organization of the study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
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