By Ebere Nwoji
The National Pension Commission ( PenCom), has said that average monthly contributions of Nigerian workers into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has risen to N25 billion just as it has disclosed that total pension assets under the scheme now stands at N5.39 trillion. The commission said the amounts represented March 2016 figures.
The PenCom Director General, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who disclosed these at a round table discussions on retirement and Pension in Abuja to commemorate this year’s workers day celebration , said the above total pension assets, was equivalent to the 7.72per cent of the Nigerian rebased GDP. She said, out of this, about 60per cent of the total pension fund assets belongs to the private sector.
She explained that as at March 2016, about 7.01 million workers had registered and are contributing to the scheme.
The PenCom DG said this represents about 7.45 percent of total labour force in Nigeria and 3.95per cent of total population.
She also said out of 36 states in the country, 26 had adopted the scheme and are at different stages of implementation while the remaining 10 states are at bill stage.
Furthermore, she disclosed that about 200,000 private sector employers of labour are implementing the CPS while over 162,343 workers had retired under the Scheme as at March 2016 and are currently receiving pensions as and when due.
Anohu Amazu, represented by PenCom’s Head, Research and Strategy Management, Dr. Farouk Umar noted that the CPS in its over ten years of operation in Nigeria, had recorded the highest growth of 17 percent in the year 2013, this was followed by 2012 when pension asset growth rate stood at 14 percent.
According to her, in 2015, the growth rate was 13 percent whereas in 2010, pension asset grew by 11 percent.
According to her, in 2014, the pension Asset grew by 10 percent while in 2011 and 2007, the growth rate was nine percent respectively.
She said the lowest growth rate of three percent was witnessed in 2006 while in2008, it grew by eight percent and six percent in 2009.
Giving an update of activities in the public sector pension, the PenCom boss said the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) was fully established to handle issues of federal government retirees exempted from the CPS.
She said there were 220,376 pensioners on payroll under the four departments of PTAD with a monthly pension of N6.4 billion as at January 2016.
She also disclosed that the commission has conducted the maiden examination of PTAD and the report of the findings forwarded to the Minister of Finance for further action.
“Follow up examination will be conducted subsequently
Guidelines are being developed for the payment of retirement benefits of Professors and Political appointees in accordance with Section 6(2) of the PRA 2014″
“The Commission conducted on-site reviews of the compliance status of 42 self-funded public agencies in September 2015.
The PenCom DG also spoke on the proposed Micro pension scheme saying that it was introduced to extend coverage to the persons working in the informal sector and the self-employed
“The Micro Pension Department has been established to drive implementation of the Plan.”
On the modus operandi of the scheme, Anohu Amazu explained that multi-channel platform would be used in providing customer services to those who will be covered under the Plan.