Monday, September 27, 2021

203 ex-Union Bank employees sue bank over N16bn unpaid pension

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Ibrahim Sha’aban
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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No fewer than 203 former employees of the Union  Bank of Nigeria Plc on Thursday dragged the bank before the National Industrial Court, Ibadan, over their N16.2bn unpaid balance of pension entitlements.

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The case was filed by Augustine Onu, Abegunde Solomon, Olanisebe Ezikiel and 200 others.

The claimant’s counsel, Adeniyi Ishola, told the court that the claimants were deprived of  their pension entitlements by Union Bank who managed their pension before the advent of  the Pension Reforms Act 2004.

Mr Ishola said that the claimants’ pension, were being paid from an in-House Pension Scheme, called Legacy Pension Fund managed by Union Bank.

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He said that the defendant ignored  the Pension Reforms Act 2004 and continued paying the claimants’ regular pension untill January 2013 when National Pension Commission compelled it to comply with the Act.

Mr Ishola further said that the Legacy Pension Fund managed by the defendant was valued at N46.71bn and Accrued Right valued at N26.57bn as at March 31,2008.

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The claimants’ counsel said that the defendant partially complied with the Act by transferring only N30.51 billion out of the legacy Pension Fund to the Pension Fund Administrators and refused to remit the balance of N16.2 billion including the N26.57 billion Accrued Rights.

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Mr Ishola urged the court to order the defendant to urgently transfer the balance of N16.2 billion and the N26.57 billion accrued rights withheld by the defendant since March, 2008 to the Pension Fund Administrators.

In her response, counsel to the defendant, Olayanju Eto-Abasi, prayed the court to grant her application for extension of time because she was out of time in filling her processes.

Mrs Eto-Abasi told the court that she would file her statement of defence as soon as the application for extension of time was granted.

Justice John Peter granted the application for extension of time and adjourned the case until  Nov.6 for hearing.

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NAN

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