‘You are responsible for your pension’


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Chuks Udo Okonta
Do you know that you are responsible for your pension? This is a fact many employees do not consider as they strive daily to eke a living.
The Pension Reform Act 2014 has placed the future of workers in their hands by empowering them to report employers who fail to comply with the laws.
The Chairman Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) Misbahu Yola, on roles to be played by employees in ensuring they have funds to fall back on retirement, said employees must leverage the laws to secure their future.
He said: “You are responsible for your pension. If you find out your employer is deducting money from your salary for pension and not remitting same, it is your responsibility to complain to your pension fund administrator, who approach the employer or report formerly to the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
“There is a complain channel at PenCom. While the PFAs don’t have the powers to enforce complains, PenCom has the powers of enforcement – they have an enforcement departments. In some instances, PenCom has engaged recovery agents to recover the pensions. Employees must rise up because the law backs them.
“They must find a means to get their employers remit their pensions. The employee must come together and pressure the employer to pay. When your self help fails, then you can approach PenCom. PenCom has the power of prosecution. You don’t have to be afraid but if you are afraid, you can write anonymously to PenCom.”
He noted that complaints received from some employees are vague, as they failed to provide specific details. “We really need to speak up. If people are afraid of speaking g up because they are afraid to get their rights, how would others get it for them? Individuals have a big role to play,” he posited.
He said the association and PenCom are working assiduously to ensure workers future is secured, stressing that the parties have established partnership with federal parastatal such that now, if you want to do a job with them, you will show a certificate of compliance.

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