Key Developments that shaped the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2021 (Part-2)

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) achieved several milestones through effective regulatory activities and innovative policies, which shaped the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in 2021.

This sequel chronicles the Commission’s attainment of ISO Certification (ISO27001:2013), the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) in Lagos and Abuja, and the maiden Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer achieved in the first quarter of 2021. It also includes the key statistics that show the growth recorded in pension assets and Retirement Savings Account (RSA) membership in 2021.

Below are the highlights:

Attainment of ISO Certification (ISO 27001:2013)

In 2021, PenCom attained ISO 27001:2013 certification for its Information Security System (ISMS). The Standards are published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The Commission was evaluated by the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) in all core areas of its operations. Accordingly, the Certificate of Compliance was issued to the Commission on 8 January 2021.

The ISMS of the Commission was designed to achieve the ISO 27001:2013 Standard, which is an internationally recognized set of information security standards that govern the security of information assets such as intellectual property, financial information, employee information, as well as information entrusted by third parties. Note that this is significant as PenCom is both the regulator of the Nigerian pension industry and the custodian of the National Databank on pension matters in the country.

Data Recapture Exercise

PenCom intensified its Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) for RSA holders nationwide in 2021. The pilot run of the Industry Shared Service Initiative (SSI) for DRE was held in Lagos and Abuja in preparation for the full implementation in 2022. This initiative became imperative in order to ease the challenges being encountered by contributors in the DRE.

In 2020, PenCom had approved a proposal by the Pension Fund Operators’ Association of Nigeria (PenOp) for the SSI in which two agents, (PayOne and Afritech Multi Concepts) were engaged to conduct the DRE on behalf of all the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). Accordingly, PenCom participated in the pilot DRE in readiness for the nationwide rollout in 2022. The exercise which involves recapturing the contributor’s personal data including biometrics, is applicable to all RSA holders who opened their RSAs before 1st July 2019 and have not been recaptured.

RSA Transfer System (RTS)

A significant milestone recorded by PenCom in 2021 was the successful completion of the maiden RSA Transfer in the second week of January 2021. Recall that the Commission opened the RSA transfer window on November 16, 2020, which allowed RSA holders to move their RSAs from one PFA to another.

In the maiden Transfer Quarter, a total of 2,799 RSAs were successfully transferred to the RSA holders’ new PFAs along with corresponding pension assets of about N18.89 billion. More RSA transfers were carried out by the Commission within the year as requested by the RSA holders on a quarterly basis. This development engendered competition among PFAs in terms of service delivery and fair returns on investments. Furthermore, RSA holders have been empowered to move their RSAs from their current PFA to other PFAs of their choice, once a year.

Growth in pension assets, RSA membership

The total pension assets under management grew to over N13 trillion as at September 30, 2021 from about N11.57 trillion recorded as at September 30, 2020. This translated to an increase of about N1.43 trillion within one year. Similarly, RSA membership rose to 9,461,173 as at September 30, 2021 from the 9,146,975 recorded as at September 30, 2020. This resulted to an increase of 314,198 new CPS participants in a year as at the end of September, 2021.

Recovery of Outstanding Pension Contributions and Penalties

PenCom, through its Recovery Agents who carry out examination of private sector employers to determine their level of compliance, continued to clamp down on defaulting employers with pension liabilities.

In the first quarter of 2021, N608.55 million, of which N162.38 million was the principal contribution and N446.16 million was the penalty recovered from 25 defaulting employers. Similarly, N398.001 million, representing N243.39 million as principal contribution and N154.61 as penalty was recovered from 31 defaulting employers during the second quarter of 2021. In addition, some defaulting employers were recommended for appropriate legal action.

In sum, 2021 was an eventful year for the pension industry in Nigeria as PenCom carried out its regulatory mandate.

DONT MISS PART 1 READ IT HERE = Key Developments that Shaped the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2021 (Part-1).

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