Reach out to stakeholders for hitch free review of pension act-Shekarau tells PenCom

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau

The Senate has asked the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to reach out to all stakeholders to collate their views including the House of Representatives committee for a hitch-free review of the pension act.

Solacebase reports that Chairman Senate Committee on Establishment & Public Services,  Malam Ibrahim Shekarau stated this on Wednesday, during an oversight visit to PenCom headquarters in Abuja.

He said the committee was on the visit over budgetary provisions approved by the Senate and to further discuss the proposed bill on the review of the pension act.

The committee Chairman who led other members on the oversight expressed happiness that the commission is making headway on government payment of its share of 18%.

In a remark, Director General, National Pension Commission, Hajiya Aisha Dahir-Umar says the value of accumulated pension assets has reached N12.3 trillion as at January 2021.

Aisha Umar said the fund is currently invested in varied but quality financial instruments, all tailored towards the development of the Nigerian economy.

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She noted that PenCom established by the Pension Reform Act 2014 as the sole regulator and supervisor of pension matters in Nigeria has ensured that payment of pensions under the Contributory Pension Scheme is now seamless, prompt and consistent.

She said the commission has licensed 22 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs)

‘’ The Commission’s statutory mandates include licensing and supervising the activities of pension operators, public enlightenment on pension matters and ensuring compliance with the provisions of the PRA 2014. PenCom’s mandate also extends to the supervision of PTAD and other Federal Government agencies involved in the administration of pensions. We also promote the adoption of the Contributory Pension Scheme by State Governments and provide technical assistance in the implementation of the Scheme by the States, ‘’said PenCom DG.

‘’In recent years, the Commission has introduced the Micro Pension Plan to enable informal sector workers to participate in the CPS and also continued to empower the RSA holders by broadening their choices through Multifund Structure of pension fund investment and the opening of the RSA Transfer window. The Commission would continue to innovate in order to consolidate the gains of the pension reform in Nigeria.’’

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‘’As you are aware, PenCom is a self-funded agency, run basically with Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), with little subvention from the Treasury. The operations of PenCom has been fairly smooth right from inception to date. Our supervisory activities continued to be substantially automated, thus necessitating a huge investment in ICT. Furthermore, the nature of our regulatory and supervisory responsibilities necessitated substantial investment in our human capital in order to remain effective, competitive and relevant in a continuously changing environment.’’

According to her, ‘’PenCom appreciates the role played by this Senate Committee in the past, to move the National Assembly to intervene in the matter of payment of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government.

‘’However, we still have not yet surmounted this challenge, because pension liability is a moving target that increases on a monthly basis as FGN employees retire. Thus, like the proverbial Oliver Twist, we would to, once again, solicit the continued support of this distinguished Senate Committee to assist the Commission in surmounting this challenge of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government to its workers and retirees. ‘’

‘’Another issue that is worth mentioning to this distinguished Committee is the persistent complaints against certain sections of the Pension Reform Act 2014, which need amendments. This is normal with every new system and the experience of the CPS in Nigeria is bound to be the same. Consequently, the Commission had obtained inputs from critical stakeholders and catalogued their proposed amendments of provisions of the PRA 2014.’’

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