The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it has approved N4.44 billion as death benefits to the next- of- kin (NOK) of deceased employees nationwide in the first quarter of 2015.
This was contained in a report from the commission and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that some NOKs of deceased employees who served in various government establishments were yet to receive the death benefits due to them.
Many of the concerned NOKs who had repeatedly approached the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) of their deceased relatives to access their benefits had complained of delay in the payment.
According to the report, the approved fund is to be paid to the NOKs of 1,450 deceased employees.
The report stated that the fund would also be utilised in the payment of Group Life Insurance claims of the deceased employees.
It also stated that N77.18 billion had been paid to the NOKs of 27,321 deceased employees from inception to the end of first quarter of 2015.
It stated that the number of retirees on Programmed Withdrawal (PW) increased by 3,340 from103,081 at the end of fourth quarter of 2014 to 106,421 at the end of the first quarter of the year.
According to the report, 1,322 retired from the public sector representing 38.43 per cent while the private sector accounted for 2,118 retirees representing 61.57 per cent during the period.
It stated that the monthly lump sum withdrawals on Programmed Withdrawal in the first quarter of 2015 was N2.55 billion, which cumulatively amounted to N257.43 billion from inception to the end of the period under review.
It said the commission received and approved 1,914 applications for retirement under the Life Annuity Plan (LA) in the quarter.