From left: Managing Director, IEI Anchor Pension Manager, Glory Etaduovie; representative of Director General, National Pension Commission, Clement Akintola; Chairman, Senate Committee on Establisment and Pension, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Pension, Hon. Alhassan Rurum and Former Director General, National Pension Commission, Muhammed Ahmad at the event.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Members of Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) and National Assembly – Joint Committee for Establishment and Public Service of the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Pension have had a consensus that the lumpsum amount payable to retirees should be reviewed to address issues of adequacy and contributions agitations.
The consensus was part of the resolutions contained in the communique issued at the end of the 3rd annual PenOp-NASS retreat held at the weekend in Lagos. The parties at the event which was well attended, also adduced that the pension industry has continued to record impressive growth across key performance indicators since the pension reform of 2004.
According to them, the pension industry in addition to being beneficial to contributors, has played pivotal role in driving economic growth and develop in Nigeria.
They noted that whilst the scheme has recorded several giant strides in its 17 years of operations, there are still so many issues that need to be addressed in order for the sector to create more value for all stakeholders.
Below is the communique issued at the event of the event.
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE 3RD ANNUAL RETREAT OF THE PENSION FUND OPERATORS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PENOP) AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (JOINT COMMITTEES FOR ESTABLISHMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVIES COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS) HELD ON 10TH JULY 2021 AT MARRIOT HOTELS. IKEJA
1.THE INDUSTRY HAS CONTINUED TO RECORD IMPRESSIVE GROWTH ACROSS KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS SINCE THE PENSION REFORMS OF 2004. THE PENSION INDUSTRY IN ADDITION TO BEING BENEFICIAL TO CONTRIBUTORS HAS PLAYED PIVOTAL ROLE IN DRIVING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA. WHILST THE SCHEME HAS RECORDED SEVERAL GIANT STRIDES IN ITS 17 YEARS OF OPERATIONS, THERE ARE STILL SO MANY ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN ORDER FOR THE PENSION INDUSTRY TO CREATE MORE VALUE FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS.
2.THE PENSION ASSETS HAVE GROWN AT AN IMPRESSIVE RATE SINCE INCEPTION. THE PENSION ASSETS STOOD AT 12.4TRILLION NAIRA WHILE THE NUMBER OF CONTRIBUTORS STOOD AT 9.4MILLION AS AT 30 APRIL 2021.
3. THE MEETING ACKNOWLEDGED THE PIVOTAL ROLE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, LABOR UNIONS AND PENSION FUND OPERATORS HAVE PLAYED IN THE SURVIVAL OF THE CONTRIBUTORY PENSION SCHEME THROUGH SUPPORTIVE LEGISLATIONS, BUY-IN AND ADHERENCE TO BEST PRACTICES RESPECTIVELY.
4. THE INDUSTRY FACES SOME MAJOR CHALLENGES, SOME OF WHICH ARE: LOW COVERAGE AND COMPLIANCE, INADEQUACY OF BENEFITS AND POOR AWARENESS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE PENSION SCHEME.
5. THE MEETING APPLAUDED HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR FOR APPROVING THE RELEASE OF ACCRUED RIGHTS AND BACKLOG OF THE DIFFERENTIAL BASED ON THE 10% EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS ACCORDING TO THE PRA 2014.
6.THE MEETING RESOLVED THAT HUGE PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT IS REQUIRED TO DRIVE COMPLIANCE AMONG STATE GOVERNMENTS TO EXPOSE THEM TO THE BENEFITS OF EMBRACING THE CONTRIBUTORY PENSION SCHEME AND ALSO EDUCATE THEM ON HOW TO LEVERAGE PENSION ASSETS TO FACILITATE INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT.
7.THE MEETING RESOLVED THAT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHOULD SET UP A TASK FORCE TO ENGAGE STATE GOVERNMENTS AND COME UP WITH INNOVATIVE WAYS TO HELP DRIVE COMPLIANCE BY STATE GOVERNMENTS.
8. THERE WAS A CONSENSUS THAT THE LUMPSUM AMOUNT SHOULD BE REVIEWED TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF ADEQUACY AND ADDRESS CONTRIBUTORS’AGITATIONS.
9.THE MEETING RESOLVED THAT A SATISFACTION SURVEY SHOULD BE COMMISSIONED BY PENOP BUT HANDLED BY A THIRD PARTY TO GAUGE THE LEVEL OF SATISFACTION WITH THE SCHEME.
10.THE MEETING RESOLVED THAT PENSION OPERATORS SHOULD ALSO TAKE THE ISSUE OF DOCUMENTATION SERIOUSLY IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT PENSIONERS ARE NOT MADE TO GO THROUGH UNNECESSARY STRESS IN ORDER TO ACCESS THEIR BENEFIT.
11.IT WAS AGREED THAT CONSIDERING THE ROLE LEGISLATION PLAYS IN DRIVING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND PENOP SHOULD CONTINUE TO COLLABORATE IN ORDER TO CREATE LEGISLATIONS THAT WILL FACILITATE ACCELERATION OF PENSION ASSETS GROWTH AND IMPROVED ACCESS TO CONTRIBUTORS