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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has announced the implementation of guidelines on accessing Retirement Savings account (RSA) balance for payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by pension contributors.
PenCom stated this in a statement make available to Inspenonline, adding that the approval was in line with Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which allows RSA holders to use a portion of their RSA balance towards payment of equity for residential mortgage.
PenCom in the guidelines highlighted that the guidelines cover pension contributors in active employment, either as a salaried employee or as a self-employed person.
It noted that interested RSA holders (applicants) must meet the following conditions:Have an offer letter for the property duly signed by the property owner and verified by the mortgage lender; the RSA of the applicant shall have both employer and employee’s mandatory contributions for a cumulative minimum period of 60 months (five years); a contributor under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) is also eligible, provided he/she has made contributions for at least 60 months (five years) prior to the date of his/her application; RSA holders that have less than three years to retirement are not eligible; married couples, who are RSA holders, are eligible to make a joint application, subject to individually satisfying the eligibility requirements; RSA holders, if registered before 1 July 2019, must have their records updated through the RSA data recapture exercise and application for equity contribution for residential mortgage shall be in person and not by proxy.
The pension sector regulator maintained that the maximum amount to be withdrawn
shall be 25 per cent of the total mandatory RSA balance as at the date of application,
irrespective of the value of equity contribution required by the mortgage lender.
It stated that where 25 per cent of a contributor’s RSA balance is not sufficient for payment as equity contribution, RSA holders may utilise the contingency portion of their voluntary contributions (if any).
PenCom submitted that to qualify as a mortgage lender for this purpose, the company must be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), comply with the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and have valid Pension Clearance Certificate (PCC).
The Commission said it shall publish names of the eligible mortgage lenders on its website.
PenCom then, invited interested RSA holders to contact their PFAs for more information and guidance, adding that the complete guidelines can be found on www.pencom.gov.ng.