PenCom Recovers N25.4bn Unremitted Pension Contributions

By Nana Musa

The National PenCom Commission (PenCom) has recovered N12.93 billion unremitted contributions, imposed N12.52 billion fines on defaulters, which resulted to a total sum of N25.45 billion.

PenCom Head, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Ibrahim Buwai, who disclosed the figures at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), in Abuja.

He said under the Pension Reforms Act, which remained the provision for enforcement, late remittances attract penalties and interest of two per cent monthly.

“All recoveries go directly into the affected Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) holders. Nobody takes a penny, not Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), not PenCom, nobody. All these money recovered are for the RSA holders and it goes into RSA.

“If you do that two per cent for every month that you default, a penalty for that amount will be computed.

“That is why when you look at our latest figure in terms of the recovery, from the inception of the exercise in 2012, you will see that the difference between the remittances and the penalty is almost neck to neck,” Buwai said.

He said that PenCom had issues of employers not remitting, adding that“ the second issue is that employers remitted but if there is no company schedule that shows the employers that these monies belong to Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs), they cannot apportion to RSA holders.

“We are not happy and that is why in 2023, we put out a statement on it and on our website, we have a long list of remittances that we saw were uncredited, calling on the people concerned to come forward and make sure the remittances are done.

“From the inception of these recovery agents programmes in 2012 to December 31, 2023, the principal contributions that were recovered were about N12.9 billion while the penalty was about N12.5 billion,” Buwai said.

Also reassuring Nigerians on the safety of pension funds, he said that the safety of pension assets remained the cardinal principles of PenCom regulations.

“We are not wavering, we have not made it lax or easy, all those stringent guidelines that were thoroughly outlined so that pension funds might be protected in the event that these investment instruments might be available – those stringent requirements remain.

“All we know is that if the pension funds are available, pension funds managers will review and take their decisions. I have to also clarify that PenCom does not partake in investment issues on the pension funds.

“All we do as regulators is that we set out general guidelines as contained in our investment regulations,” Buwai said.

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