Operators Highlight Challenges, Potential to Pension Sector Growth

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Ebere Nwoji

Pension Fund Administrators, (PFAs) the managers and administrators of accumulated funds from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have said that in their efforts to ensure smooth running of the scheme to guarantee happy and stress free retirement for Nigerian workers, they are confronted by many challenges .

The managers, however said despite these challenges, the scheme has a lot of potential, which if well harnessed, would build huge investible funds for the economy and make retirement a happy period for Nigerians.

The Chairman, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), the umbrella body of PFAs in Nigeria, Mrs. Ronke Adedeji, who stated this at a recent media retreat organised by the National Pension Commission(PenCom) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, highlighted some of the challenges as poor knowledge of the scheme by the general public, lack of information and wrong perception of the scheme, confusion among members of the public between the old and new scheme, lack of public awareness on their rights and the scheme requirements and low adoption of self-help platforms by the public .

Others are the fact that despite huge investments in technology by industry players, a high percentage of clients remain comfortable with the old, manual way of doing things as well as
failure to communicate changes in customer data to PFAs leading to difficulties in locating some clients.
According to the PenOp Chairman, there are also challenges of failure to adopt the scheme by many employers and employees as well as lack of contributors’ attention to the scheme until their day of retirement.

She also cited the challenge of lack of funding for the scheme due to non- remittances.
Furthermore, she pointed to high cost challenge, noting that achieving the elements of heightened service delivery comes at a significant investment to industry players.

While also identifying changes in customer data not communicated to PFAs, which lead to difficulties in locating the clients as a major challenge, Adedeji, who is also the Managing Director Leadway Pensure, highlighted other prospects in pension sector saying with good public enlightenment through better information dissemination by the media, efforts by operators and the regulator to deepen knowledge on pension matters will increasingly improve service delivery and yield better result.

She further said that good pension system like the CPS, will provide multiple -fund platform for the people,explaining that offering clients the flexibility to determine the level of risk their accounts will be subjected to will further individualise the service being rendered between contributor and PFA.