.Holds Pension desk officers forum
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Premium Pension Limited, has organised Pension Desk Officers forum which was aimed at evaluating the workings of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and chart ways on enhancing operational effectiveness of pension business.
A statement by the firm’s Head, Corporate Communications! Paddy Ezeala, said the forum organised by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Region of the company, yesterday, is a routine industry requirement that provides opportunity for stakeholders to keep abreast of current trends in the industry.
Executive Director and Acting Managing Director/CEO of the company, Kabir Ahmed Tijjani, at the opening of the forum at the firm’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, said: “This forum provides an opportunity to identify challenges faced by clients and collectively proffer clarifications and solutions.
“There are still challenges in the CPS thirteen years since inception, especially in the area of public awareness of the law and the workings of the scheme.”
Tijjani further pointed out that the regulatory body, the National Pension Commission, (PenCom) and the National Association of Pension Operators of Nigeria, (PenOp) have been doing a lot in the area of generation of public awareness of the immense advantages and desirability of the scheme. This was corroborated by Ibrahim Kangiwa, Investment Analyst at PenCom at the event when he said: “We are working with PFAs to reach all stakeholders, the media and the public and private sectors to ensure increased awareness of the scheme.”
The forum provided a platform to appreciate the tremendous success Premium Pension has witnessed since coming on stream in 2005. Presentations were made on EPCCOS, Withdrawal from Voluntary Contribution and Enhanced Programmed Withdrawal and also the soon-to-be-introduced introduced Multi-fund Structure.
Electronic Pension Contribution Collection System (EPCCOS) is a payment platform that makes it convenient for employers to make pension payments online to several PFAs with relevant schedules uploaded simultaneously.
This system, developed by the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBBS) at the instance of PenOp would soon be the sole platform for pension contribution remittances in Nigeria. It tracks payment schedule such that each payment batch can be uniquely identified.
The new guidelines and safeguards regarding withdrawals from voluntary contribution were shared with participants at the forum. This is mainly with regard to limits, periodicity and also foreign contributors.
The proposed Multi-Fund Structure regarding the investment of pension funds is geared towards enhancedprotection of pension funds from undue exposure to risk, beginning with funds of contributors in the twilight of their careers and gives active contributors opportunity to opt for the investment that aligns with their risk appetite
Both the imperative of the Contributory Pension Scheme and the intricacy of its operations as well as individual and collective responsibilities of all stakeholders came to light at the forum. So also was the general renewed commitment to its continued success.
Premium Pension Limited now has customer base spread in over one thousand organizations with over 700,000 Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs).