Stories by Ebere Nwoji
The Pension Fund Operators Association (PenOp), the umbrella body of all licensed Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs) in Nigeria, has urged contributors into the Contributory Pension Scheme(CPS) to key into the ongoing Data Recapturing exercise mandated by the National Pension Commission(PenCom).
The association, said the exercise would guarantee retiring contributors into the CPS and those who lost their jobs and are entitled to collect 25 per cent of their contributions as permitted by law, to assess their lump sum payment.
PenOp President, Mrs Ronke Adedeji, who stated this at the quarterly press briefing organised by the association in Lagos, said the Data Recapturing exercise is a tough issue as more people are going into retirement and each person needs to be uniquely identified for easy payment.
She said the objective of the exercise was to clean up the database in the pension system and remove multiple registration by contributors.
She said PenCom, wants to use the national identification numbers for the purpose of the exercise, adding that if the number was linked to each contributor’s BVN, it would help to ensure an error free exercise.
According to her, the commission, through the exercise wants to sanitise registration into the CPS and to have a supporting document for each RSA holder.
Adedeji, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Pensure, therefore urged contributors to avoid waiting for rush period but to instantly visit their PFA for the recapturing exercise.
Also speaking, PenOp Director and Managing Director ARM Pensions. Mr Wale Odutola, spoke on the micro pension scheme said its objective of the policy was to establish pension for individuals not covered by the existing CPS.
He said currently, PFAs have started registering people into the scheme, adding that unlike the formal CPS, which is compulsory in nature, their experience so far with the voluntary Micro Pension scheme is a very slow one.
“PFAs have started registering contributors into the micro pension scheme, but it is very slow because of the initial teething problems. Registering individuals requires the Know your Customers(KYC), but we are confident that with time, all those issues constituting problems will be addressed,” he added.
He said its slow nature was not a surprise to PFAs, adding that the association anticipated that and has advised its members to be consistent and patience in the business.
“We know that the micro pension business strategy will not be the same with that of the compulsory CPS, it needs patience, hard work, it is going to take slightly different strategy and it will require a slow and steady approach”, he state.
The ARM Pension boss, also spoke on the yet to take off Minimum Pension Guarantee exercise, saying it would take time for all the modalities to be fulfilled.
This according to him was because, it would have far reaching implication for the PFAs.
He said PFAs are waiting for government to step up its funding plan so that the sector will not go into unfulfilled exercise.