Know your rights, responsibilities as pension consumer

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has once again spotlighted the rights and responsibilities of pension consumers.

According to PenCom, major consumers in the pension industry are: Employers (Public & Private Sectors) and Retirement Savings Accounts holders (Contributors & Retirees).

The Head, Consumers Protection Department, PenCom, Ikenna Chidi-Ebere, whilst speaking at 2023 PenCom Journalists Conference in Lagos, said in keeping to the Commission’s Corporate Strategy Initiative for 2023 to 2027, it established the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) to replace its erstwhile Corporate Responsibility and ServiCom Department.

He submitted that the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) was created to ensure protection of rights and effective service delivery to consumers

According to him the rights of consumers are:

* Right to be informed

* Right to consumer education;Right to choose freely

* Right to safety;

* Right to confidentially;Right to redress

* Right to be treated fairly.

He noted that the framework also highlights the responsibilities of consumers as follows:

* Being honest with the information you provide

* The need to first talk to the chosen Pension Fund Administrator if one encounters difficulties

* Duty to Report Unethical Practices. Fraud and Error;Never to disclose personal information

* Know how to make complaints

* Updating information as the need arises

* Review all your documents.

He maintained that the consumers play an important role in the pension industry, hence, ensuring their satisfaction through effective and efficient service delivery and complaint resolution aligns perfectly with the Commission’s mandate to achieve excellence in service delivery.

He said the Commission encourages the general public especially (Private Sector Employees) to report defaulting employers not complying with the provisions of Pension Reform Act 2014 (Non-remittance of Mandatory Monthly Pension Contributions), adding that the report can be submitted anonymously to protect employees from the risk of job loss or victimization by their employers.

Employees can also report any observed irregularity that relates to pension matters which may hamper the customer satisfaction.The report can be lodged at the online and off-line addresses mentioned in slides 15 to 17, he posited.

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