DG, PenCom, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad
Nnamdi Duru, Obinna Chima and James Emejo
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) Wednesday confirmed that 5.28 million Nigerians have registered under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at September 2012.
The figure as at December 31, 2011 was 4.92 million.
These according to the commission have collectively pooled as much as N2.94 trillion at the last count.
The Director-General of PenCom, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, confirmed this while presenting a keynote address at a workshop that PenCom organised for journalists in Abuja Wednesday.
He also disclosed plans by the commission to introduce four types of funds, such that pension contributors could determine the instruments in which accumulated retirement savings should be invested.
“We are introducing four types of funds. Fund one is basically what is called an aggressive fund for young contributors. Such people can afford to have part of their contributions invested in equities, etc.
“Fund two is a mutual fund, good for workers up to 50 years and close to retirement. It is the type that we currently have. Fund three is for retirees and the fund could only invested in fixed income instruments like bonds. Fund four is an ethical fund including Sharia fund where contributor chooses from specialised instrument in which retirement savings could be invested,” he explained.
According to Ahmad, there were currently 54,558 retirees from both public and private sectors under the scheme and collectively, they have taken over N151.52 billion of their accumulated pension savings as lump sum and are receiving about N1.77 billion monthly as pension.
The PenCom boss also stated that total pension assets worth N2.94 trillion have been accumulated as at the end of September, from N2.8 trillion announced recently.
Ahmad added: “There is no doubt that the pension industry is one of the most reported sector in the last one year following the public hearings on the administration of pension in Nigeria. We are pleased to note that the media had clearly distinguished the CPS from the problems of the old scheme which were the subject of public hearings.
“The action had further promoted public confidence in the CPS. As part of our consolidation efforts during the year under review, I am pleased to report that the recapitalisation exercise which required Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) t to raise their shareholders fund from N150 million to N1 billion has been successfully completed.”
Commenting on the activities of PenCom in 2012, Ahmad stated that the commission continued with its regulatory and supervisory philosophy, which he stressed was risk-based and consultative.
“The commission has aggressively intensified our compliance efforts by pursuing legal action against defaulting employers. Compliance by the informal sector also received a major boost during the year with the appointment of recovery agents.
“’The commission has issued the regulation for the transfer of Retirement Savings Account (RSA). As part of the implementation of opening the transfer window, the PFAs and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) who are key stakeholders in the pension industry will participate in various workshops geared towards ensuring their full understanding and participation in the transfer process, before window opens,” he explained.