Assessment of the administrative challenges associated with non-contributory pension scheme in Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Pension schemes all over the world are confronted with a lot of challenges. In Nigeria, the non-contributory pension scheme faces a lot of administrative challenges since its introduction in 1979.The major challenges are: embezzlement of pension funds, and delay in the payment of retirement benefits to retirees and on time. This study assessed the influence of these challenges in the administration of the scheme in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Structural Functionalism theory was adopted, and survey design was used. The study took place in Ebonyi State and the study population were pension managers. Questionnaires were administered to 108 respondents, out of which 85 were returned. Data obtained were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The administrative challenges identified by pension managers were; lack of adequate staff (51.8%), lack of biometric data capturing machine (81.2%), too many pensioners on the payroll (57.7%), ghost pensioners (55.3%) and embezzlement of pension funds (54.2%). In-depth interviews revealed inadequate preparations for retirement by pensioners, delay in payment of retirement benefits, embezzlement of pension funds, corrupt practices among pension managers and governments. unwillingness to review pensions as challenges confronting the non-contributory pension scheme. The study therefore recommended upwards review of pensions, adequate preparations of civil servants before retirement, provision of biometric data capturing machines and the prosecution of indicted pension managers.
Key words: Welfare, Pension administration, Systemic corruption.
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