By Ngozi Onyeakusi

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has charged Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in the country to ensure that death certificates presented by beneficiaries of deceased contributors were scrutinized properly before payment of death benefits.

The Acting Director-General of the commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, gave the advice on in a statement issued sequel to series of complaints from retirees the commission has received.

For instance, she stated that it was alleged that PFAs paid death benefits to their next-of-kins even while still active in service.

Dahir-Umar pointed out that it had become imperative for the PFAs to curb the menace and strengthen the process of payments of the death benefits.

Specifically, she charged the PFAs to improve their internal risk control, investigate documents submitted by beneficiaries before forwarding request for payment to the commission for approval.

The PenCom boss listed other measures the PFAs needed to prioritise as conducting search at the probate registry to confirm the genuineness of the Letter of Administration, verification of information on named administrator and sureties and contacting employers of the deceased for confirmation of his or her death.

Dahir-Umar canvassed further: “PFAs must ensure that the affixed current passport photograph of the next-of-kin is certified by the deceased employer.

“Legal beneficiaries must be required to submit a valid means of identification or a letter from a Notary Public, where a means of identification is not readily ascertained. PFAs must confirm that the death certificate was issued by the hospital or police report in case death was by an accident”, she added.