How PenCom’s initiatives, Achievements Shaped Nigeria’s Pension Industry in 2023

The National Pension Commission (PenCom), the apex regulatory authority for Nigeria’s pension industry, marked 2023 as a momentous period in the nation’s pension regulation and administration history. Demonstrating its commitment to effective oversight and innovation, PenCom successfully executed noteworthy initiatives, shaping a positive trajectory for the pension landscape.

These initiatives manifested in a sustained growth of pension fund assets and CPS membership. This piece summarises PenCom’s journey, highlighting triumphs and an unwavering pursuit of excellence in 2023 as follows:

Growth of Pension Fund Assets and CPS Membership

PenCom recorded significant growth of the Pension Fund Assets in 2023. Over the first ten months, pension assets increased by N2.67 trillion from N14.99 trillion recorded as at December 2022 to N17.66 as at October 2023. Concurrently, the CPS membership increased by 278,800 new Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) from 9.86 million as at December 2022 to 10.14 million as at October 2023.

Third Edition of the Pension Enhancement Exercise

The Pension Enhancement Exercise, which started in 2017, is the periodic enhancement of pensions for retirees under the CPS. The third edition of the Pension Enhancement was conducted between February and July, 2023. The exercise covered existing retirees under programmed withdrawal mode of access who had accumulated significant growth in their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs). Based on the analysis of retirees’ data, 111,187 retirees qualified for the third edition of the enhancement. Implementing the Pension Enhancement is a significant indicator that the CPS provides better retirement opportunities, enhancing the amount of pensions received by retirees. Pension Enhancement is another clear departure from the Defined Benefits scheme of the past, where retirees’ pensions were somewhat fixed. Previous Pension Enhancements were conducted in 2017 and 2020.

Additional Benefits Schemes under CPS

PenCom unveiled the Framework for the Establishment of Additional Benefits Schemes under the CPS to boost retirement benefits for Nigerian workers. The Framework aligns with Section 4(4)(a) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which allows employers to pay additional benefits to their employees upon retirement. Accordingly, any employer may wish to provide additional benefits, such as gratuity, to its employees upon retirement. The Framework outlines the modalities for establishing and managing Additional Benefits Schemes for employers interested in increasing their employees’ retirement benefits under the CPS.

Accessing RSA for Residential Mortgage

PenCom continued to implement the Guidelines on Accessing Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Balance towards Payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA Holders in line with the provisions of Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014). Section 89 (2) allows RSA holders to apply a percentage of their pension savings towards payment of equity contribution for a residential mortgage. PenCom’s implementation of the Guidelines facilitated many workers in realising their dream of homeownership in 2023. A total of 1,737 pension contributors have so far accessed N18.601 billion from their RSA balances towards payment of equity contributions for residential mortgages in 2023.

Online Enrolment/Registration

As in the previous year, PenCom conducted the 2023 online Verification and Enrolment Exercise for retirees and prospective retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) due to retire in 2024. The nationwide exercise started on October 2, 2023. To simplify the process for prospective retirees and retirees, PenCom provided two options for registration for enrolment: The Self-Assisted option and the Pension Desk Officer (PDO)/PFA-Assisted option.

Pension Clearance Certificates

PenCom commenced the issuance of PCC to organisations in 2012 in line with the Pension Reform Act, 2014 (PRA, 2014), which mandates all organisations with at least 3 employees to participate in the CPS. The PCC is evidence of compliance with the PRA 2014 and serves as a prerequisite for all suppliers, contractors, or consultants soliciting any contract or business from the Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). Accordingly, PenCom issues PCCs to organisations that apply and have fully complied with the requirements. Consequently, from January to December 2023, PenCom issued 30,293 PCCs to private organisations that applied and fully complied with the set requirements.

Uncredited Pension Contributions

PenCom observed that some employers remitted pension contributions of their employees with incomplete documentation. Consequently, PFAs were unable to credit the RSAs of the affected employees. PenCom and PFAs posted the list of affected employers and employees with uncredited contributions on their websites. On September 6, 2023, PenCom issued a press release directing all employers and employees on the list to provide PFAs with the requisite information to facilitate the crediting of pension contributions into the employees’ RSAs before the end of December 2023.

The Commission’s Corporate Strategy

PenCom developed and commenced implementation of the Commission’s refreshed Corporate Strategy. The strategy introduced several innovations hinged largely on improved service delivery to stakeholders. A highpoint of the strategy was the creation of a Consumer Protection Department to ensure that pension contributors and retirees are served effectively and efficiently. Through the department, PenCom has given more impetus to the expeditious resolution of complaints and issues from pension contributors and retirees. 


Many of PenCom’s critical stakeholders, such as labour unions, the pensioners’ union, the employers’ association, and the business community in Nigeria, have recently publicly expressed confidence in how PenCom regulates the pension industry in Nigeria. Speaking during the 2023 Annual Directors Conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Directors (ClOD) on November 16, 2023, in Abuja, Mr Olusegun Aganga (CON), the Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Arthur Young in Nigeria, and Director of Westco Ltd, commended PenCom for effectively regulating the pension industry in Nigeria. Aganga, also a former Minister of Finance, stated that the pension industry is now one of the best-regulated sectors in Nigeria.

PenCom remains committed to the effective regulation and supervision of the pension industry to ensure that retirement benefits are paid as and when due.

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