The National Pension Commission Pension (PenCom), said it has made adequate preparations for the take off of its micro Pension Scheme, just as it said it has targeted to enroll a minimum of 250,000 informal sector workers in the micro pension scheme within the first six months of its take off.
The commission, disclosed this at a recent workshop organised for journalists in Calabar, Cross River State.
Speaking at the forum, Head Micro Pension Department of PenCom Polycarp Anyanwu said already the commission has set up micro pension department made up of 23 staff, developed a micro Pension data base, and has been collaborating with potential contributors for the micro pension scheme.
He said the commission has been collaborating with chambers of commerce, as well as other government agencies in charge of small businesses such as Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority ( SMEDAN) and is working on guidelines for the commencement of the scheme.
Anyanwu explained that Micro Pension initiative exists for the provision of pension coverage to self-employed persons, adding that in Nigeria, it covers three strata of income earners namely lowest, middle and high income earners.
According to him, the commission is working assiduously to enroll 250,000 contributors within six months of the commencement of the initiative.
He disclosed that the commission is also targeting the self-employed in various trades and professions in Nigeria such as artisans, accountants, lawyers, mechanics, tailors, market men/women, hair dressers, architects, engineers among others.
Anyanwu maintained that the scheme is an offshoot of the Pension industry five year strategic plan to expand the coverage of the CPS to 20 million contributors by 2019.
According to him, the commission has also reviewed the implementation of Micro Pension in other jurisdictions like Kenya and Ghana; formulated Guidelines and Framework on Micro Pension; consulted licensed Pension Industry Operators and enhanced its information and communications technology capacity to accommodate the scheme.
On benefits accruable from the initiative, he said, it would avail the contributor access to regular stream of retirement income at old age and improves living standards of the elderly.
He said Contributors are to benefit from the various incentives to be offered by the PFAs adding that the initiative would deepen financial literacy and inclusion; secures financial autonomy & independence of retirees; passage of wealth to survivors in the event of death; increases National Savings and long term funds; promote growth development of the capital, mortgage and insurance markets and have positive effect on the national economy as pension assets increases.