By Afolabi Oyekunle.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has assured partnership with Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to champion programmes that will ensure successful implementation of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in Nigeria.
Director-General PenCom Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said this at the National Pension Commission/Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) Interactive Session on the Contributory Pension Scheme for the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in Lagos.
The PenCom boss who was represented by the Commissioner Technical, National Pension Commission, Anyim Nyerere, assured the OPS that the Commission would continue to ensure robust social dialogue with NECA in the interest of all stakeholders under the CPS.
She submitted that PenCom has continued to take giant strides towards ensuring the smooth implementation of the CPS through the revision of existing regulations and guidelines and the development of new ones, adding that 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 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, she said.
The PenCom Boss said 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, the Commission developed and deployed the RSA Transfer System (RTS) in 2020, adding that the RTS is a computer-based application for initiating, processing, and monitoring the RSA Transfer process and that it also ensures the seamless transfer of RSAs from one PFA to another.
RSA transfer window, she noted 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 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Balance towards Payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA Holders, she posited”.
“Members of the OPS would recall that following the enactment of the PRA, the Commission was saddled! with the responsibility of supervising the transfer of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) contributions of employees into their respective RSAs under the CPS. To date, contributions worth N10.20 billion have been transferred to the RSAs of 142,486 NSITF Scheme contributors. Thus, in order to ensure that all contributors under the NSITF Scheme have their NSITF contributions transferred to their RSAs, the Commission had severally featured advertorials in National Dailies requesting NSITF contributors to apply for the transfer of their contributions.
“The Commission wishes to implore all employers to encourage their employees who have contributed to the NSITF Scheme to liaise with their PFAs and in particular Trustfund Pensions for guidance on how to have their contributions transferred to their RSAs,” she stated.
She expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association for offering its platform for continuous social dialogue with the members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS); in Nigeria, adding that the social dialogues have generated an invaluable impact on the implementation of the CPS over the years.
She noted that the objectives of the interactive session include, but are not limited to, enlightening the OPS on the workings of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), sharing thoughts on emerging developments in the Nigerian pension space and providing an opportunity for pension operators to interact with the members of the OPS.
Director-General NECA, Adewale Oyerinde, noted that with over 4,000 employers across the federation and over 35 sectoral employer’s federations as affiliates, NECA remains the voice of business in Nigeria.
He said before 2004, life after retirement could be described as uncertain and unpredictable, however, with Pension Reform Act 2004, repealed and reenacted in 2014, the narrative has changed significantly, adding that the enactment of the Act and with successive PenCom leadership, there has been series of improvement and innovation in the administration of the pension scheme