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‘Poor documentation’ N93bn pensions unpaid into workers accounts

A total of N93.49bn worth of pensions was paid by employers but was not credited into workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts in 2021, according to findings from the National Pension Commission.

This comprised N73.97bn contributions remitted by employers to the Pension Fund Custodians, PFCs, but were yet to be credited into the employees’ Retirement Savings Accounts.

It also included N19.52bn uncredited contribution domiciled in the Transition Contributors Fund, TCF.

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The Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, stated in her presentation on the industry’s 2021 report that PenCom directed the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs, and the PFCs to resolve issues of all outstanding contributions.

She stated, that, “A notable outcome of the 2021 review of Licenced Pension Fund Operators records was the un-credited pension contributions domiciled in the Contribution Reconciliation Accounts of PFAs totalling N73.97bn.

“This amount represented contributions remitted by employers to the Pension Fund Custodians, but yet to be credited into the employees’ Retirement Savings Accounts due to the submission of incomplete or inaccurate schedules by employers.

“The commission has given a six month timeline to the PFAs and PFC to follow up with the respective employers and ensure that the funds are appropriately transferred to the employees’ RSAs.”

It added that, “Another notable outcome of the review was the uncredited contribution domiciled in the Transition Contributors Fund of PFAs totalling N19.52bn.

“The TCF account was created to keep pension funds of employees that failed to open RSAs in line with Section 4.1.1 of the guidelines for Transitional Contributions Fund.

“This requires a PFA chosen by employers whose employees have received salary for a minimum of six months, but failed to open a Retirement Savings Account, to create and maintain a TCF to manage the accumulated pension contributions pending when the employees opened Retirement Savings Accounts.

“The commission had equally mandated the PFAs to ensure resolution of all outstanding contributions in the TCF and forward monthly status reports.”

Dahir-Umar said the industry remained focused on the resolution of the challenges of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the CPS, expansion of coverage of the CPS to the informal sector and the sub-national governments and the diversification of pension fund investment.

Other focus areas included the drive to improve the quality of customer service delivery, enhancement of operational capacity of the regulator and operators’ workforce and the reinvigoration of the commission’s public enlightenment and education initiatives, she said.

“The commission continued to regulate and supervise the Nigerian pension industry in a transparent and consultative manner through the instrumentality of on-site/special examinations, as well as off-site surveillance and analysis of all Pension Fund Operators,” she said.

“Specifically, the commission monitored the activities of the Pension Fund Operators and conducted routine inspection of States’ Pension Bureaux to ascertain the level of implementation of the CPS, as well as the administration of the Defined Benefits Schemes in the states and the FCT.”

Regarding compliance and enforcement activities, she said the commission continued to deploy various administrative and legal means to ensure that public and private sector institutions complied substantially with the provisions of the PRA 2014.

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