Armed Forces Pensions Act 1974 (NG)

Armed Forces Pensions Act

An Act to consolidate all enactments dealing with pensions, war pensions and disability benefits and gratuities for members of the armed forces of the Federation, (taking into account the new pensions and gratuities devised for the armed forces).
[Commencement.] [1st April, 1974]

1. Computation of pension or gratuity

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any pension or gratuity payable to any serviceman under this Act shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act.
[First Schedule.]

(2) In the computation of pensionable service and qualifying service for the purposes of this Act‐
(a) where an officer served in any of the Armed Forces of the Federation during the period between 27 May, 1967 and 15 January, 1970 ‐
(i) each completed year of war service shall count as two years;
(ii) a period of war service exceeding four months and not included in a completed year shall count as one year; and
(iii) a period of war service not exceeding four months and not included in a completed year or in a period of the kind mentioned in sub‐paragraph (ii) of this subsection shall count as six months;

(b) any period of service (other than war service) over six months and not included in a completed year shall for the purposes of the First Schedule to this Act as relates to officers entitled to a pension, count as one year.
[First Schedule.]

(3) Pensions and gratuity already awarded under the provisions of any other enactment may be recalculated in order to take account of subsection (2) of this section.

2. Pension, etc., to be charged on revenue of Nigeria

There shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation all such sums of money as may from time to time be granted by the Federal Government by way of pension or gratuity in accordance with this Act.

3. Circumstances in which pension may be granted

(1) No pension or gratuity shall be granted under this Act to an officer holding a regular commission except on his retirement from service in the Armed Forces in one of the following cases‐
(a) at any time after serving for not less than fifteen years;
(b) on compulsory retirement under the provisions of section 5 (1) of this Act;
(c) on compulsory retirement for the purpose of facilitating improvements in the organisation of the armed forces by which greater efficiency or economy may be effected;

(d) at any time on medical evidence to the satisfaction of the Minister that he is incapable by reason of any infirmity of mind or body of discharging his military duties and that such infirmity is likely to be
permanent;
(e) in the case of removal on the ground of inefficiency as provided in section 4 of this Act;

(f) on voluntary withdrawal after putting in not less than ten years but less than fifteen years continuous services as an officer:
Provided that‐
(i) in respect of paragraphs (c) to (f) of this subsection, if the officer has served for not less than ten years but less than fifteen years before his retirement, he shall be entitled to only a gratuity as specified in the appropriate column of the Table in the First Schedule to this Act;
[First Schedule.]
(ii) if the officer has served for a minimum of three years but less than ten years before he is required to retire, he shall be entitled to an ex‐gratia gratuity calculated on pro‐rata basis at the rate often per cent for every completed year of service.

(2) No pension or gratuity shall be granted under this Act to an officer holding a short service commission except‐
(a) to such an officer who has been injured without his own default in circumstances specifically attributable to the nature of his duty, the Minister being satisfied on medical evidence that as a result of such injury he is incapable of discharging his duties in the service and that injury is likely to be permanent; or
(b) to such an officer who was granted such commission without break of service after service in the ranks, on retirement from the service in one of the cases specified in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) No pension shall be granted under this Act to another rank except on his retirement from the service in one of the following cases‐
(a) on or after the completion of fifteen years’ qualifying service;
(b) on or after the completion of ten years’ qualifying service and on medical evidence to the satisfaction of the Minister that he is incapable by reason of any infirmity of mind or body of discharging his duties
and that such infirmity is likely to be permanent:

Provided that, the Minister may grant a pension to another rank who has not completed ten years’ qualifying service, in a case where the other rank has been injured without his own default in circumstances specifically attributable to the nature of his duty, the Minister being satisfied on medical evidence that as a result of the injury he is incapable of discharging his duties and that the injury is likely
to be permanent; but the pensions to be awarded in this case shall be two per cent of the annual pensionable salary subject to a maximum of thirty per cent of the terminal salary of the other rank concerned;

See also  Administrative Staff College of Nigeria Act, 1972 (NG)

(c) on discharge in consequence of a reduction of the establishment of the armed forces in the case of another rank who has completed not less than fifteen years’ service.

(4) No gratuity shall be granted under this Act to another rank except on his retirement from the service in one of the following cases‐
(a) on or after the completion often years’ qualifying service;
(b) at any time on medical evidence to the satisfaction of the Minister that he is incapable by reason of any infirmity of mind or body of discharging his duties and that such infirmity is likely to be permanent and is not self‐inflicted.
(5) No other rank who has been granted a gratuity under the provisions of subsection (4) of this section or other retiring benefit in respect of his service shall be permitted to draw a pension in respect of the same period of service under subsection (3) of this section unless he shall first have refunded such gratuity or retiring benefit.

4. Retirement for inefficiency

Where an officer is removed from the service on the ground of his inability to discharge his duties efficiently, and a pension or gratuity cannot otherwise be granted to him under the provisions of this Act, the Minister may, if he considers it justifiable having regard to all the circumstances of the case, grant such proportionate pension or gratuity as he thinks just and proper, not exceeding in amount that for which the officer would be eligible if he retired from the service in the circumstances described in paragraph (d) of subsection (1) or paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 3 of this Act.

5. Compulsory retirement and retirement on compassionate grounds

(1) It shall be lawful for the Minister to require an officer holding a regular commission to retire from the service at any time after he has attained the age of forty‐five years subject to three months’ notice in writing of such requirement being given.

(2) An officer holding a regular commission may, in extreme compassionate circumstances, be allowed to resign, to withdraw or, as the case may be, to retire from the service at any time on application in writing to the Minister.

6. Maximum and minimum pension

(1) A pension granted to an officer or other rank under this Act shall not exceed eighty per cent of the highest pensionable emoluments drawn by him at any time in the course of his military service.
(2) A pension granted to an officer or other rank under this Act shall not be less than N360 per annum.

(3) For the purposes of this section an additional pension granted in respect of injury shall not be taken into account; but where the officer or other rank is granted such an additional pension under this Act, the amount thereof together with the remainder of his pension under this Act shall not exceed one hundred per cent of his highest pensionable emoluments at any time in the course of his service.

7. Pension and gratuity to be paid to dependants, etc., where a serviceman dies in service

(1) Where a serviceman dies in the service after the completion of the minimum period of qualifying service, there shall be paid to his legal personal representatives, or to any person being a relation or dependant of such serviceman‐
(a) a gratuity equal to one year’s salary of such serviceman, up to 31 March, 1978 and the gratuity he would have been entitled to if he had retired on the date of his death after 31 March, 1978; and
(b) such pension as would have been payable to the serviceman if he had retired at the date of his death.

(2) Where a serviceman dies before completing the minimum period of qualifying service, his designated survivors shall be paid a death gratuity of only one year’s salary.

(3) Any pension payable under subsection (1) of this section shall be paid to any person entitled thereto for a period expiring at the end of five years after the death of the serviceman, so however that a lump sum representing five years’ pensions may be paid forthwith to the person entitled thereto.

8. Pension and gratuity to be paid to personal representatives, etc., where a serviceman is killed in course of duty

(1) Without prejudice to subsection (2) of this section where during his period of service, a serviceman dies as a result of injuries received in the course of his duties‐
(a) without his own default; and
(b) on account of circumstances specifically attributable to the nature of his duty, there shall be paid to his legal personal representative or, in any case where there is no legal personal representative, to any person being a trustee or heir of such serviceman a gratuity equal to one year’s salary of such serviceman a gratuity which the officer would have been entitled to on the date of his death, whichever is higher.

(2) In addition to the gratuity payable under subsection (1) of this section, there shall be granted‐
(a) if the deceased serviceman leaves a widow, a pension to her, for life while unmarried and of good character, at a rate not exceeding one third of his accrued pension at the date of his death;

(b) if the deceased serviceman leaves a widow to whom pension is granted under paragraph (a) of this subsection and a child or children, a pension in respect of each child, until such child attains the age of eighteen years, of an amount not exceeding one third of the pension prescribed in that paragraph; but where the deceased leaves only one child that child shall be entitled to two thirds of the deceased officer’s accrued pension until he attains the age of eighteen years, or if engaged in full‐time course of studies at an institution of higher learning, until he attains the age of 25 years;

See also  Armed Forces Act 1994 (NG)

(c) if the deceased serviceman leaves a child or children, but does not leave a widow or no pension is granted to the widow, a pension in respect of each child until such child attains the age of eighteen years, of double the amount prescribed by paragraph (b) of this section;
(d) if the deceased serviceman leaves a child or children and a widow to whom a pension is granted under paragraph (a) of this subsection and the widow subsequently dies, a pension in respect of each child as from the date of the death of the widow until such child attains the age of eighteen years, of double the amount prescribed by paragraph (b) of this subsection;

(e) if the deceased serviceman does not leave a widow, or if no pension is granted to his widow, and if his mother was wholly or mainly dependent on him for her support, a pension to the mother, while of good character and without adequate means of support, of an amount not exceeding the pension which might have been granted to the widow:

Provided that‐

(i) a pension shall not be payable under this subsection at any time in respect of more than four children;
(ii) in the case of a pension granted under paragraph (e) of this subsection, if the mother is a widow at the time of the grant of the pension and subsequently re‐marries, such pension shall cease as from the date of re‐marriage; and if it appears to the Minister at any time that the mother is adequately provided with other means of support, such pension shall cease as from such date as the Minister may determine;

(iii) a pension granted to a female child under this section shall cease upon the marriage of such child under the age of eighteen years;
(iv) where a deceased serviceman leaves more than one widow, the Minister may grant a pension or pensions to one or more of such widows not exceeding in the aggregate the total value of the pension which might be granted to a sole widow under the preceding provisions of this subsection;
(v) where a deceased serviceman leaves a widow to whom one third of his annual pensionable emolument has been granted and an only child, the Minister may grant to that only child a pension representing the balance of the deceased serviceman’s pensions, that is to say, two thirds thereof.

(3) For the purpose of this section, the word “child” includes‐
(a) a posthumous child;
(b) a child born out of wedlock the onus of the proof of paternity of which shall be on such child; and
(c) a step‐child or a child adopted in a manner recognised by law (including customary or Moslem law).

PART II
Disablement Provisions relating to War Service

9. Award for disablement

(1) Pension and gratuity to be awarded to a serviceman in respect of disablement of the serviceman due to war service in the armed forces shall be computed on the last pay of such serviceman in accordance with the provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act.
[Second Schedule.]

(2) A serviceman shall be regarded as disabled for the purposes of this section, if the termination of his service is necessitated or accelerated by an injury or condition due to war service.

10. Retrospection

Any awards under this Part to a disabled serviceman may be made retrospectively, so however that no such award shall be made to take effect before the termination of his services.

11. Gratuity for war service where no eligibility otherwise

Where a serviceman with war service is not, on the termination of his service, eligible for a pension or gratuity under this Act, the Minister may grant to the serviceman on the termination of his service either a gratuity calculated by multiplying one tenth of the serviceman’s last pay by the number of completed
months of his service or a gratuity equivalent to the serviceman’s salary for one year, whichever is the greater.

PART III
Miscellaneous and Supplementary

12. Pension and gratuity not to be assignable etc.

A pension or gratuity granted under this Act shall not be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached, sequestrated or levied upon for or in respect of any debt or claim whatsoever for the purpose of satisfying‐
(a) a debt due to the Federal Government; or
(b) an order of any court for the payment of periodical sums of money towards the maintenance of the wife or former wife or minor child of the serviceman of whom the pension or gratuity has been granted.

13. Payment of public claims out of pension and gratuity

Where the Minister is satisfied that‐
(a) a sum is due to the Federal Government from a person to whom a pension or gratuity mayor has been awarded under this Act; or
(b) an overpayment on account of any such pension or gratuity has been made to any person by the Federal Government, the Minister may authorise the deduction from the pension or gratuity, in respect of that sum or overpayment, of such amounts at such times as he may think fit; and the amounts so deducted shall be applied in or towards paying that sum or overpayment.

14. Delegation of powers

The Minister may by order published in the Federal Gazette delegate to another person or authority all or any of his powers under this Act, so however that‐
(a) the delegation of a power under this section above shall not prevent the Minister from continuing to exercise the power if he thinks fit;

See also  Association of National Accountants of Nigerian Act 1993 (NG)

(b) the delegation of powers under this section shall not extend to the power to make regulations under this Act.

15. Regulations

(1) The Minister, with the approval of the President, may by regulations make provisions generally for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act and in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may by regulations amend the provisions of the First and Second Schedules to this Act.
[First and Second Schedules.]

(2) Whenever the Minister is satisfied that it is equitable that any regulation made under this section should have retrospective effect in order to confer a benefit upon or remove a disability attaching to any person, that regulation may be given retrospective effect for that purpose.

16. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires‐
“Armed Forces of the Federation” means the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force;
basic pay” means the daily rate of pay payable to an other rank, but does not include allowances;
disabled” means physical or mental injury or damage, or loss of physical or mental capacity;
ex‐serviceman” means a past member of the Armed Forces;
free services element” means such amount as is prescribed in the First Schedule, as being the estimated value of free facilities including lodging, rations, clothing and medical attention;
[First Schedule.]
last pay“‐
(a) in relation to a serviceman whose service has terminated, means the amount payable to him for a month (or if he was on a daily rate of pay, for thirty‐one days) in respect of the substantive rank held by him immediately before the termination of his service together with, in the case of a serviceman who is not an officer, the free services element;
(b) in the case of a serviceman who is not an officer, service and rank increments and the free services element;

lodging” means the provision of furnished accommodation, fuel and light and personal service;
medical board” means any medical board appointed by the Minister, or by any other person pursuant to a delegation under section 14 of this Act, to assess the degree of disablement of a serviceman;

Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for military pensions;
officer” means a person holding a commission in the Armed Forces;
other rank” means a person enlisted in the Armed Forces and who is not holding a commission;
pensionable emoluments“‐
(a) in respect of an officer, means the salary attached to the last substantive rank held by the officer but does not include any allowance whatsoever;
(b) in respect of an other rank includes‐
(i) the last pay attached to the last substantive rank held by the other rank; and
(ii) the free services element but does not include any other emoluments whatsoever;

pensionable service” means service in the Armed Forces (including service or employment under the Government of the Federation or of a State or any other service approved by the Minister and which has been transferred to the Armed Forces) which may be taken into account in computing a serviceman’s
pension under this Act;

qualifying service” means service in the Armed Forces (including service or employment under the Government of the Federation or of a State or any other service approved by the Minister and which has been transferred to the Armed Forces) which may be taken into account in determining whether a serviceman is eligible by length of service for a pension or gratuity;
regular commission” does not include a short service commission;
retirement” includes discharge and also cessation of service with the Colours on transfer to the Reserve;
serviceman” means a present member of the Armed Forces;
short service commission” means a commission granted for a specific term of years whether with an option to extend the term or otherwise;
termination“, in relation to a serviceman’s service, means termination of full‐pay service by retirement, release, discharge, demobilisation, transfer to the Reserve or otherwise howsoever;

war service” means any or all of the following, that is‐
(a) service in the Armed Forces after 27 May, 1967 and ending immediately before 17 January, 1970;
(b) service in connection with internal security operations, that is all operations in aid of civil authority in the maintenance of law and order;
(c) any other service as may be declared from time to time by order made by the President.

17. Short title, repeals and savings

(1) This Act may be cited as the Armed Forces Pensions Act.
(2) The enactments set out in the Third Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed, so however that pensions and gratuities already granted under the repealed enactments shall continue to be paid, or as the case may require, be paid as if granted under this Act and such pension and gratuity shall accordingly be recalculated in order to take account of the provisions of the Act where applicable or, as the case may require, of the Pensions Act.
[Third Schedule. Cap. P4.]

SCHEDULES

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Credit: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)

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