The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Eric Fajemisinmi, has said that despite the numerous challenges currently facing Nigeria’s economy, there are still huge growth opportunities in the pension sector administration and management.
Fajemisinmi, therefore said his company would leverage on the micro pension scheme, when the scheme finally kicks off, to increase the number of its Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders.
Fajemisinmi, who stated this at a media parley organised by his company in Lagos recently, noted that micro pension scheme is another way of increasing pension adoption.
Describing Micro Pension as the pension industry’s strategic initiative to have inclusive and expanded pension coverage, the IBTC Pensions boss, noted that the 7. 3 million Nigerians registered under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is a far cry from a population of 180 million Nigerians.
He said that the micro pension scheme, will be targeting the informal sector of the economy, which is about 70 per cent of the country’s population.
Expressing the hope that the scheme will commence next year, he said the regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) is currently in advanced discussion with the federal government to add good incentive to the scheme to attract the informal sector into it.
He said this has become necessary because the micro pension by its nature is different from the joint contribution like the current CPS.
“The scheme must have a sweetener to attract the informal sector into it. PenCom is currently proposing to the FG to either give tax incentives or access to loans to the would-be beneficiaries, as this will persuade more operators in the informal sector to embrace it. Definitely, there must be something to attract people to subscribe to it and that is currently being worked out,” he stressed.
He promised that IBTC Pension Fund Managers has put all machineries in place to key into the scheme, as soon as it is launched.
Fajemisinmi, also lauded the reforms being put in place by PenCom through the Pension Reforms Act (PRA 2014), noting that this has further strengthened the scheme.
He listed some of the improvements in the guideline to include; compulsory payment of pension by state governments, reduction in the number of employees a company must have to subscribe to CPS, from five to three, among others.
Stanbic IBTC Pension, he said, had invested in bonds and equities, which currently give good returns on investment to its numerous RSA holders across the country.
In a bid to continue to serve the customers better, he stated that the PFA has launched a new app on Play Store to allow customers enjoy seamless services.