FAQs on RSA Transfer Window - PensionNigeria

FAQs on RSA Transfer Window

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the RSA Transfer Window – What You Should Know

1. What is Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer?

Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer is the transfer of an individual’s Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another, processed through the RSA Transfer System (RTS).

2. How often can a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder transfer his/her RSA?

A Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder is only allowed to transfer his/her RSA once in every 365 days (12 calendar months) as stipulated in Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014).

3. How is a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer initiated?

A Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer is initiated by the RSA holder through the PFA to which his RSA is to be transferred to. It is based on the provision of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014), which empowers the RSA holder to select and change the PFA that will manage his/her RSA.

4. What is the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System?

The Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System RTS is a computer-based application deployed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for the purpose of initiating, processing and monitoring the RSA Transfer process.

5. What is a Receiving Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)?

This refers to the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to which a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) is being transferred to.

6. What is a Transferring Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)?

This refers to the current Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), from which a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) is being moved to a Receiving PFA.

7. How does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder start the RSA transfer process?

i. The Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder must first ensure that his/her personal details (Biometrics & Biodata) have been recaptured and updated on the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS). This also entails providing his/her National Identity Number (NIN) to the current PFA. (This requirement only applies to contributors that registered before 1 July 2019).

ii. Thereafter, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder should approach the receiving PFA and initiate the transfer request by providing his/her RSA PIN, Surname, Current Telephone Number and Email address.

iii. After successful validation of the biodata, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder’s fingerprint will then be captured to authenticate his/her identity and conclude the transfer request.

iv. The receiving Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) prints 2 copies of the confirmation slip, which should be signed by the RSA holder as proof that he/she initiated the transfer. A copy of the confirmation slip will be given to the RSA holder while the other copy is retained by the receiving PFA.

8. What information does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder need to provide to enable him/her transfer an RSA?

The Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder needs to provide the following details to the receiving PFA to enable him/her transfer his/her RSA from his current PFA:

i. Surname.

ii. RSA PIN.

iii. Current Telephone Number.

iv. Email address (not compulsory but highly desirable for receiving updates on the status of the RSA transfer request).

v. Fingerprint of the RSA holder, which should be captured live by the receiving PFA.

9. When can a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder submit an RSA transfer request?

A Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder can submit an RSA transfer request any time within the year, provided that the request is not submitted before the expiration of 365 days after the last RSA transfer.

10. Does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder need to inform his/her current PFA before transferring his/her RSA?

No, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder does not need to inform his/her current Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) before transferring his/her RSA. However, it is important for an RSA holder that registered before 1 July 2019, to have recaptured his biometrics and biodata with his/her current PFA, otherwise the transfer request cannot be initiated.

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11. Is there any fee to be paid by a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder for transferring an RSA?

No, RSA transfer is free. No amount is charged by the receiving Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to process the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request from the RSA holder.

12. How long does it take for a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request to be concluded?

i. Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer requests received are batched and processed at the end of every quarter, that is, 4 times in a year (March, June, September and December). However, only transfer requests received latest by the end of the second month of a transfer quarter (February, May, August and November) are processed within that quarter.

ii. All transfer requests received within the third month of a quarter will be processed in the next quarter.

13. How does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder get information on the status of his/her RSA transfer request?

Updates on the status of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request are sent via the email provided by the RSA holder when the transfer request was initiated. In the absence of an email, the receiving and transferring PFAs are required to send notifications to the RSA holder via SMS using the telephone number provided by the RSA holder.

14. What does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder need to do after successful completion of the RSA transfer?

After a successful RSA transfer, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder is expected to advise his/her employer about the new PFA for subsequent remittance of his/her monthly pension contributions. The RSA holder should also contact his/her new PFA to ensure that the RSA balance transferred is accurate.

15. Who are the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders that are eligible to transfer their RSAs?

Every Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder whose details (Biometrics & Biodata) have been recaptured and uploaded unto the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS) or who was registered as from 1st July 2019, is entitled to transfer his/her RSA. This is applicable to both active contributors and retirees who selected the programmed withdrawal mode of accessing their retirement benefits. A retiree on annuity, who has voluntary contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is also eligible to transfer his/her RSA.

16. What are the safeguards of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer process?

The Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer process is conducted on a secured and fully automated platform. The process has inbuilt controls that ensure that it is only a legitimate RSA holder that can initiate the transfer of his/her RSA. This is achieved by verifying the RSA holder’s live fingerprint on the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) database. Furthermore, there are strict administrative sanctions for infractions by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), while National Pension Commission (PenCom) monitors the entire process to ensure compliance.

17. Can a retiree on Programmed Withdrawal (PW) transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA)?

Yes, a retiree who is on Programmed Withdrawal (PW) is eligible to transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another.

18. Can a retiree on Annuity, transfer his/her pension funds from an Insurance Company to a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)?

No, a retiree on annuity cannot transfer his/her fund from an Insurance Company to a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA). However, if the retiree is making voluntary contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), he/she can transfer that Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another.

19. Can a retiree on Programmed Withdrawal (PW) move to annuity while his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request is undergoing processing?

No, a retiree on Programmed Withdrawal (PW) cannot move to annuity while his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request is undergoing processing. However, the retiree can only be allowed to transfer after 1 year with the new Pension Fund Administrator (PFA).

20. Can a Micro Pension Contributor transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA)?

Yes, a Micro Pension Contributor can transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another.

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21. Can an employee of a State that has adopted the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA)?

Yes, an employee of a State Government can transfer his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA). However, such employee can only transfer his/her RSA to any of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) already appointed by the State Government to manage the RSAs of its employees.

22. How does a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder know that his/her request for RSA transfer is successful?

A notification will be sent to the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder via the email provided, to indicate a successful transfer of the RSA.

23. Can an employer compel its employees to transfer their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) to a particular Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)?

No, it is not permissible for an employer to compel its employees to transfer their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) to any particular PFA. The decision to transfer an RSA, similar to that of selecting a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) in the first instance, is the exclusive RIGHT of the employee.

24. What should a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder do if his/her current PFA refuses to recapture his/her biodata and biometric information on the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS)?

Any Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder who’s current Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) refuses to recapture him/her should immediately inform National Pension Commission (PenCom).

25. Where can Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders get information about Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to guide their decision on RSA transfer?

Information on the PFAs can be obtained from PenCom’s and PFAs’ websites as well as from respective PFA branches and service centers. RSA holders are encouraged to carefully review these sources of information prior to initiating an RSA transfer. You should also check out PensionNigeria Performance of all PFAs in Nigeria.

26. Can a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder cancel an RSA transfer request after initiating the process?

No, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request cannot be cancelled after its initiation.

27. Are Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) allowed to induce Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to influence their decisions to transfer?

Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) are forbidden from giving any form of monetary and non-monetary inducements to influence RSA holders’ decisions to transfer their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs). PenCom will take appropriate action regarding any such reported and confirmed case(s) of inducements.

28. Under what circumstances can a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request be rejected?

i. If the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder has initiated a transfer request within the last 365 days.

ii. If the data (biometrics and biodata) of the RSA holder have not been recaptured in the ECRS.

iii. If the receiving Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) is not eligible to administer the RSA.

iv. If the verification of the RSA holder’s fingerprint and or iris at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) fails.

29. How does PenCom ensure that Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) adhere to timelines for successful conclusion of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer processes?

There is a specified timeline for each of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer processes. The RSA transfer system automatically applies pre-determined administrative sanctions on Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) that fail to comply with any timeline.

30. Are there any sanctions for operators in case of failure to adhere to the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer Regulation?

The Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System automatically applies pre-determined administrative sanctions on Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) for failure to comply with the provisions of the RSA Transfer regulation. This is to ensure that there is no willful act of non-compliance.

31. Is there a provision for a finger print impaired RSA holder to initiate an Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer?

Yes, the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS) provides an option to select iris (to verify the RSA holder’s eyes instead) for all fingerprint impaired RSA holders. This option will be available when National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) fully deploys the feature in its registration process. Meanwhile, such cases will be referred to PenCom for manual approval after confirmation of the status by NIMC.

Also check out How to change your PFA and What to do afterwards

If you are thinking of changing your PFA you should check out 

Performance of all PFAs in Nigeria for January to October 2020

Performance of all PFAs for Full Year 2019

Performance of all PFAs for Full Year 2018

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