PenCom Commits To Implementation Of Contributory Pension Scheme

PenCom Boss, Aisha Dahir-Umar

By Nana Musa-Umar

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has said it is commitment towards the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) through existing regulations, guidelines and the development of new ones.

The Director-General of PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, made the commitment in Abuja on Thursday, during a one-day interactive session with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on the current development and challenges in the implementation of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.

Dahir-Umar who was represented by the PenCom Commissioner of Adminstration, Dr Umar Aminu said that the objective of the interactive session was to enlightening the OPS on the workings of the CPS.

She said they would be sharing thoughts on emerging developments in the Nigerian pension space by providing an opportunity for the pension operators to interact with the members of the OPS.

“The commission has continued to take giant strides towards ensuring the smooth implementation of the CPS through the revision of existing regulations and guidelines as well as the development of new ones.

“Specifically, the commission deployed the Enhanced Contributors Registration System (ECRS) for the pension industry.

“Following the deployment of the ECRS, the commission also introduced the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE), which mandatorily requires all Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders who joined the CPS prior to the 1st of July 2019 to update their information with their respective Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

“Accordingly, the commission has consistently urged RSA holders to approach their PFAs for data recapture,” Dahir-Umar said.

She said that in order to facilitate the implementation of Section 13 of the PRA 2014 which allows an RSA holder to transfer his/her RSA from one PFA to another at least once in a year, PenCom developed and deployed the RSA Transfer System (RTS) in 2020.

“The RTS is a computer-based application for initiating, processing and monitoring the RSA transfer process. RSA transfer window has continued to improve the quality of service delivery by the PFAs.

“Again, in order to ensure that RSA holders own a house during their work life, the commission has released the guidelines on accessing RSA balance towards payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by RSA holders,” Dahir-Umar.

She said that the pension industry was one of the fastest-growing financial sectors in the country.

She said as at the end of the third quarter of 2023, the number of RSAs under the CPS stood at 10 million, while the size of the pension Asset Under Management amounted to N16.76 trillion.

Dahir-Umar commended the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) for offering its platform for continuous social dialogue with the members of the OPS on the implementation of the CPS in the country.

The Director-General, NECA, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said that the PRA 2014 had changed the narrative significantly.
Oyerinde, however, said, “No matter the efforts put into a system or process, there would always be room for improvement.

“Thus, following the enactment of the Act and with successive PenCom leadership, we have had series of improvements and innovation in the administration of the pension scheme.

“For many of us that have been around for a while, you will agree with us that the circumstantial suspension of this interactive session few years ago has created a gap.

“It has also deprived not only the private sector but also PenCom the opportunity to get critical feedback that will help in further improving the operationalization and administration of the Pension Scheme.

“We are, however, glad that we are back to this engagement, not only in Lagos but also in four other zones; Abuja, Kano, Port-Harcourt and Enugu.

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