PenOp: Pension Transfer Window Takes Off June 2020

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Ebere Nwoji

The umbrella body of Pension fund administrators, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), has revealed that the long -awaited pension transfer window will commence in June, 2020.

PenOp, however, said the exercise would depend on the ability of both the pension fund administrators (PFAs) and the regulator, the National Pension Commission(PenCom), to fine-tune issues relating to total cleaning of contributors’ data which had constituted delay to the take-off of the transfer window over the years.

Disclosing this at a one-day seminar organised by PenOp for the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO), in Lagos, at the weekend, PenOp Chairman, Mrs Ronke Adedeji, said the issue of National Identity Number (NINC) was affecting the speed of contributors’ data cleaning for the exercise to take-off.

Owing to this, she stressed that the proposed June 2020 commencement date would be tentative, adding that the operators and the regulator are working hard to ensure that it happens.

The pension transfer window is an avenue that would allow contributors into the Contributory Pension Scheme who are dissatisfied with the services of their existing pension fund managers to move to any other one of their choice as stipulated by the Pension Reform Act 2004 amended in 2014.

Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act (2014) specifies that an employee may, not more than once in a year, transfer his Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one PFA to another.

Past administrations in PenCom had given several dates for the take-off of the transfer window which later failed but a council member of PenOp and Managing Director UBA pension Custodian, Mr Bayo Yusuf, disclosed that PenCom and the PFAs have been engaging on the matter, just to ensure that the June 2020 date was realistic.

Meanwhile, many dissatisfied contributors into the CPS have been itching for the commencement of the transfer window to enable them migrate from their existing PFA.

Some of the challenges highlighted by contributors that made them to demand for a change of their fund manager was that whereas the Pension Act states that contributors should be allowed to choose fund managers of their choice, some employees selected a few number of pension fund managers they want to deal with and compelled their employees to choose from the list, thereby compelling them to choose pension fund managers they do not want to manage their funds.

Also, it was gathered that some that choose managers, complained that their annuity fund had not been transferred to their insurers whereas they stipulated that they want to buy annuity from an insurance company in place of programmed withdrawal.

Some said their PFA don’t send information on their fund management, while some said their PFA in the alert sent to them monthly, deduct money from the actual amount deducted from their salaries.