Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar
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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said its is presently working on the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure that will support the launch of the Micro Pension Plan.
Its Acting Director-General, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this at the BusinessToday’s 5th anniversary and awards in Lagos, stressing that the implementation of the Micro Pension Plan, is expected to improve the standard of living of the informal sector participants at retirement and reduce dependence on extended family for support at retirement.
Represented at the event by Head of Research and Corporate Strategy Department at PenCom, Dr. Farouk Aminu, she noted that in accordance with the Provisions of Section 2(3) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, the commission introduces the Micro Pension Plan, adding that the plan is set to include the self-employed and persons working in organisations with less than three employees.
“The Micro Pension Plan aims at ensuring that the informal sector participants save towards their old age. It is also expected that the plan would expand the coverage of pension contributors by an estimated 30 million people by the year 2024. This category of workers constitutes a large percentage of the working population in the country.
“To implement this initiative, the Commission segmented informal sector into three broad categories namely; the low-income earners, the high-income earners and the small & medium scale enterprises (SMEs). Each of these categories will be targeted with appropriate pension products and sensitization programmes that meet their various peculiarities,” she posited.
The PenCom boss said the Commission expects that the implementation of the Micro Pension Plan will yield positive results for Nigerians and the Nigerian Pension Industry and that is however need to create more awareness about the plan.
On benefits derivable from the plan, she noted that over time, old age poverty will decrease with the introduction, because the informal sector worker would have saved for retirement while active.
She maintained that the additional savings from Micro Pension Plan would aid economic development and macro-economic stability through investment in infrastructure and financial markets, enhance pension coverage and improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that contributions will pass to the next of kin in case of contributor’s death.