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Nigeria@62: Pension industry has fared well – Operators

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 As Nigeria marks its 62nd independence anniversary operators in the pension industry have expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded since the Reform of the Pension Act in 2004 They operators spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos while assessing the performance of the industry as the country marked its independence on Saturday Mr Ivor Takor Executive Director Centre For Pension Rights Advocacy said the pension industry since 2004 had improved tremendously and the regulator the National Pension Commission PenCom was doing well Takor said Nigerian workers now had more confidence in the industry as government especially at the federal level had cleared backlogs of unpaid pensions to a reasonable extent He noted that through the Defined Benefit Scheme DBS the waiting time for payment of accrued pension rights had reduced from about two to three years to a year now It is laudable that PenCom is also saying it is looking forward to retirees receiving their pension rights within two to three months from 2023 he said According to him the Micro Pension Plan MPP scheme is a new vista for workers in the informal sector and self employed persons who are not covered by the Contributory Pension Scheme CPS Takor said the transfer window opened by the regulator for RSA holders was also making the Pension Fund Administrators PFA s to take their responsibilities more seriously He said with the PFA s knowing that RSA holders can now move from one administrator to another without hindrances would help improve service delivery The pension right advocate stated that the recent guideline issued by PenCom that permitted 25 per cent withdrawal from RSA holders balance for mortgage was another laudable initiative that would affect the lives of workers and pensioners positively Accommodation is one of the principal needs of workers and pensioners and it is a good idea for PenCom to have opened the window to enable workers to access fund from their RSA balance to get a house and become house owners before retirement Once issue of accommodation has been sorted before retirement pensioners would enjoy their retirement in more comfort he said According to him the dynamism merger and acquisition taking place in the sector indicated that the industry was faring well Takor noted that the recapitalisation of the PFA s had also given pension fund managers a stronger footprint as majority if not all of them were able to capitalise which showed that the industry was strong Mr Wale Odutola Chief Executive Officer ARM Pensions also said the pension industry had made significant strides within the last few years Odutola also the immediate past president Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria PenOp noted that the challenges before the pension managers going forward was to make the schemes more inclusive and expand the coverage to every working Nigerian He explained that following the recapitalisation of the industry Nigerians should expect to see stronger PFA s that would be able to improve offerings that ultimately affected the RSA holders positively Odutola applauded the PenCom guidelines that allowed workers to access 25 per cent of their RSA balance for mortgage and stated that the policy would affect the mortgage real estate sectors and every other party positively One of the biggest challenges is the ability for prospective home owners to pay equity but this policy allows them to access the fund that they can use for mortgage which is good for everyone he said Similarly the immediate past Publicity Secretary Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria Mr Moses Igbrude said the adoption of the Pension Reform Act in 2004 during the advent of democratic rule brought a new dimension to the industry The pension industry has performed greatly and the CPS has brought a new dimension to the industry as workers have the freedom to choose their PFA s and monitor the funds in their RSA s as they contribute he said According to him while the current structure of the industry is effective there is need to improve on it and ensure that the pension fund is well managed while contributors access their funds at the right time upon retirement Igbrude charged the industry players to intensify awareness and educate Nigerians working in the informal sector to embrace the micro pension plan People must be educated to know the benefit and implication of not embracing pension in the future for them he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
Nigeria@62: Pension industry has fared well – Operators

Reform of the Pension Act

As Nigeria marks its 62nd independence anniversary, operators in the pension industry have expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded since the Reform of the Pension Act in 2004.

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News Agency of Nigeria

They operators spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, while assessing the performance of the industry as the country marked its independence on Saturday.

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Ivor Takor

Mr Ivor Takor, Executive Director, Centre For Pension Rights Advocacy, said the pension industry since 2004 had improved tremendously and the regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), was doing well.

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Takor said Nigerian workers now had more confidence in the industry, as government, especially at the federal level, had cleared backlogs of unpaid pensions to a reasonable extent.

Defined Benefit Scheme

He noted that through the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), the waiting time for payment of accrued pension rights had reduced from about two to three years to a year now.

“It is laudable that PenCom is also saying it is looking forward to retirees receiving their pension rights within two to three months from 2023,” he said.

Micro Pension Plan

According to him, the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) scheme is a new vista for workers in the informal sector and self-employed persons who are not covered by the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

Pension Fund Administrators

Takor said the transfer window opened by the regulator for RSA holders was also making the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA’s) to take their responsibilities more seriously.

He said: “with the PFA’s knowing that RSA holders can now move from one administrator to another without hindrances would help improve service delivery.


The pension right advocate stated that the recent guideline issued by PenCom that permitted 25 per cent withdrawal from RSA’ holders balance for mortgage was another laudable initiative that would affect the lives of workers and pensioners positively.

“Accommodation is one of the principal needs of workers and pensioners, and it is a good idea for PenCom to have opened the window to enable workers to access fund from their RSA balance to get a house and become house owners before retirement.

“Once issue of accommodation has been sorted before retirement, pensioners would enjoy their retirement in more comfort, “he said.

According to him, the dynamism, merger and acquisition taking place in the sector indicated that the industry was faring well.

Takor noted that the recapitalisation of the PFA’s had also given pension fund managers a stronger footprint as majority, if not all of them, were able to capitalise, which showed that the industry was strong.

Wale Odutola

Mr Wale Odutola, Chief Executive Officer, ARM Pensions, also said the pension industry had made significant strides within the last few years.

Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria

Odutola, also the immediate past president, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), noted that the challenges before the pension managers going forward, was to make the schemes more inclusive and expand the coverage to every working Nigerian.

He explained that following the recapitalisation of the industry, Nigerians should expect to see stronger PFA’s that would be able to improve offerings that ultimately affected the RSA holders positively.

Odutola applauded the PenCom guidelines that allowed workers to access 25 per cent of their RSA balance for mortgage and stated that the policy would affect the mortgage, real estate sectors and every other party positively.

“One of the biggest challenges is the ability for prospective home owners to pay equity but this policy allows them to access the fund that they can use for mortgage, which is good for everyone,” he said.

Publicity Secretary

Similarly, the immediate past Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Moses Igbrude, said the adoption of the Pension Reform Act in 2004 during the advent of democratic rule brought a new dimension to the industry.

“The pension industry has performed greatly and the CPS has brought a new dimension to the industry, as workers have the freedom to choose their PFA’s and monitor the funds in their RSA’s as they contribute,” he said.

According to him, while the current structure of the industry is effective, there is need to improve on it and ensure that the pension fund is well managed, while contributors access their funds at the right time upon retirement.

Igbrude charged the industry players to intensify awareness and educate Nigerians working in the informal sector to embrace the micro pension plan .

“People must be educated to know the benefit and implication of not embracing pension in the future for them,” he said.

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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