For the past 12 years, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) realised over N5.9 Trillion from 7.2 million contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Speaking at a PenCom workshop for Journalists in Calabar, Cross Rivers State on Wednesday, the Director-General, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu explained that the relative success of the implementation of the Pension Reform Act could largely be attributed to the fundamental structures upon which the CPS was built.
Represented by Commissioner, Inspectorate Division, Professor Mohammed Abubakar Ka’oje, Anohu-Amazu said the Commission aimed at increasing the level of awareness on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and other related pension issues.
The DG said: “the enactment of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004 was a significant turning point in the quest to bequeath a sustainable and efficient pension system for Nigeria. The main aim was to provide an enduring solution to the protracted challenges associated with pensions in both the public and private sectors. The main highlights of the PRA 2004 included the introduction of the CPS to replace the Old Defined Benefits Scheme and the establishment of PenCom as the sole
“However, these modest milestones notwithstanding, the implementation of the PRA 2004 was not bereft of challenges. Indeed, some issues were noted in the course of implementation since the PRA 2004 and this underscored the imperative for a comprehensive review of the PRA in order to consolidate on the Pension Reform. The re-enactment of the PRA in July 2014 provided a sound basis to guide the second decade of the Nigerian Pension Reform.
“The PRA 2014 sought to ensure that more tangible benefits accrue to retirees towards a more blissful retirement. Some of the major developments introduced by the new law include an increase in monthly pension contributions to 18 per cent from the previous 15 per cent, in order to ensure that retirement benefits are enhanced under the CPS for the benefit of contributors; reduction in the waiting period for contributors to access their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) in the event of temporary loss of job from 6 months to 4 months; stiffer penalties and sanctions for infractions; establishment of the Pension Transitional Arrangements Directorate (PTAD) to co-ordinate the smooth administration of the old DB Scheme of the public service; amongst others.
“The enactment of the PRA 2014 served as the basis for the implementation of our new Corporate Strategy Plan. Expanding the coverage of the CPS to the underserved economic sectors through our Micro Pension initiative is a key priority of our strategic vision. As we seek to increase registered pension contributors to at least 20 million by the year 2019, informal sector participation through the Micro Pension Plan is expected to provide impetus. The Commission has also enhanced its support to the States in facilitating their adoption and implementation of the CPS by providing a bespoke technical assistance, through our State Operations Department and Zonal Offices in each of the 6 geo-political Zones.”