Pension Fund Assets Hit N12.66trn; Contributors Under CPS 9.38m – PenCom
- Begins Remittance of 2.5% Pension Differentials to RSAs
THE National Pension Commission (PenCom) has revealed that pension fund assets have increased to N12.66 trillion as at June 30, 2021; just as contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) rose to 9.38 million; Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Director General of PenCom stated this on Monday in Lagos.
The Director General also revealed that PenCom has commenced the remittance of the 2.5% differentials specified by the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of retirees, although that of those still in service is being worked on for payment.
Mrs Dahir-Umar, who was represented by Mr Peter Aghahowa, PenCom’s Head of Corporate Communication, at the 2021 Journalists Workshop held under the theme; “Positioning the Pension Industry in the Post COVID-19 Era,” stated that the steady growth of the pension industry justified the commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.
While assuring stakeholders in the pension industry that the implementation of the CPS is on course, the Director General also stated that the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a review of business processes across various organisations, which made it imperative for PenCom to deepen technology innovation.
“COVID-19 has engendered socio-economic disruptions of the entire global order, with multifarious challenges in conducting hitherto routine activities. It was, therefore, imperative for the commission to deepen technological innovation to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
“The most recent technological innovation introduced by the commission is the in-house designed and developed online enrolment application. The application has capabilities to register, verify and enrol prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” she said.
According to her, by the deployment of this new application, mass gathering of people has been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.
The DG mentioned that another notable technological innovation by the commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020.
She said public enlightenment and education was one of the five strategic focus areas currently pursued by the commission.
“This is considered germane considering that 17 years after the pension reform in Nigeria, there still exists a knowledge gap on the CPS.
“Consequently, the commission is committed to reinvigorating its public enlightenment and education drive in order to address this challenge,” Mrs Dahir-Umar said, adding that other strategic areas of focus for PenCom include the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the federal government and portfolio diversification of pension fund investments.
She also mentioned improvement in customer service delivery across the pension industry and unrelenting pursuit of sustainable growth of the pension industry by expanding the coverage of the CPS.
Begins Remittance of 2.5% Pension Differentials to RSAs
Mrs Dahir-Umar said the payment of 2.5% differential being the rate of employer’s pension contribution for federal government retirees was recently approved by President Buhari, while the computation of active employees is being worked on for payment.
Mr Dahir-Umar said the differential resulted from the increase in the minimum pension contribution for employers from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent, in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004.
“These payments would undoubtedly boost the RSA balances of the beneficiaries towards better retirement benefits. The settlement of these outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled federal government retirees would result in reversing a major challenge that has lingered since 2014.
“Also the commencement of payment of the reviewed monthly pension contribution rate by the federal government is another significant step in ensuring compliance with the PRA 2014,” Dahir-Umar noted.
According to Mr Saleem Abdulrahman, Head of PenCom’s Department of Contribution and Bond Redemption, the beneficiaries were retirees between 2019 and 2020 of the Federal Government Treasury Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s).
“Some of the retirees may likely get additional lump-sum or enhanced annuity or programmed withdrawal. We have also begun the computation of the active employees to enable payment,” Mr Abdulrahman said.
He added that the commission had also begun computing the details of retirees between July 1, 2014 to December 2018 and would pay them soon.