Pension

PFAs battle poor service delivery, lack of staff training, inadequate ICT facilities

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Inadequate staffing; poor record keeping; lack of staff training; inadequate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities and poor service delivery, were said to be observed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) during its inspection of Pension Fund Administrations (PFAs) branches in Rivers State.

PenCom stated this in its third quarter 2019 report, adding that the observations were from its inspection conducted on PFA branches in Rivers State, of which 11 PFAs were examined.

“The inspections were to determine the extent to which staff of the PFAs were conversant with the provisions of the Rivers State Contributory Pension Law and extant regulations and guidelines issued by the Commission, the level of compliance of the PFAs with the Commission’s Circular on minimum requirements for opening of branches and service centers, the quality of services rendered to stakeholders by the PFAs as well as benefits administration and payment arrangements.

“The major issues that were observed include Inadequate Staffing; Poor record keeping; Lack of staff training; Inadequate ICT facilities and Poor service delivery. The recommendations on corrective actions from the Inspection Report have been issued to the PFAs for implementation while the Commission continues to monitor accordingly,” it said.

The pension industry regulator said it reviewed monthly Compliance Reports submitted by Pension Operators and that major issues observed from a review of the reports were un-credited pension contributions, delay in the payment of retirement benefits to the retirees and outstanding commitments from previous routine examinations. “The above issues were outlined in the routine examination of the operators and implementation timelines on corrective action were obtained for follow up by the Commission,” it said.

On corporate governance, PenCom noted that as at the end of Q3 2019, all operators had forwarded their Corporate Governance Reports for the year ended 31 December, 2018 and that the major issues observed from the review of the reports were inadequate composition of the Board, non-submission of Annual Performance Evaluation of individual Directors, inclusion of Executive Directors as members of the Board Audit Committee, some Directors being members of all Board Committees and holding Board meetings same day with the Board Sub- committee meetings.

PenCom stated that it had written to all the operators to take remedial actions in addressing the observations.

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