The RSA Transfer System (RTS) fondly called RSA Transfer Window marked its one-year anniversary on the 16 November 2021. No doubt, the RTS has met its objective as RSA holders get to exercise their right to move their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) from their current Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to other PFAs of their choice.
Consequently, the deployment of Transfer Window is one of the giant strides recorded by the Commission as it responded to the clamor of RSA holders to be able to move from one PFA to another based on choice. From inception to date, a total of 38,518 RSA holders have initiated RSA transfer over the year which were successfully transferred from their current PFAs to various PFAs of their choice. Additionally, the total value of the pension assets transferred in respect of the 38,518 RSAs transferred, was N148,126,968,175.86.
The National Pension Commission launched the RTS on the 16 November 2020 to meet the requirement of Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which stipulates that an RSA holder may transfer his RSA from one PFA to another once a year. RSA Transfers are processed quarterly i.e., 1st January – 31st March, 1st April – 30th June, 1st July – 30th September, 1st October – 31 December, which is referred to as Transfer Quarter.
Request submitted in the first 2 months of a Quarter are processed in the 3rd month of the Transfer Quarter while those submitted in the 3rd month of the Quarter, are treated in the next Transfer Quarter, if approved. The transfer is free and an RSA holder has the liberty to choose the PFA of his or her choice. A retiree on programme withdrawal is eligible to transfer his or her RSA. Similarly, RSA holders on voluntary contribution can transfer their RSAs.
In order to ensure effective and efficient transfer of RSA, the Commission had ensured a seamless process for RSA transfer. Since the launch of RTS, RSA Transfer has been embraced by a large number of RSA holders in their quest for better service delivery and returns on investment from the PFAs.
In the maiden Transfer Quarter, which ended on 31 December 2020, a total number of 2,799 RSA holders transferred their RSAs to various PFAs. The fulfillment by the RSA holders on RTS was demonstrated in the first Transfer Quarter of 2021, which ended on 31 March 2021 where the request for transfer saw an increase that quadrupled the request in the maiden edition to the tune of 12,681. The second Transfer Quarter, April 1 to June 30 2021 recorded 10,167 RSA transfer requests, while the third Transfer Quarter, July 1 – September 30 recorded 12,872.
Accordingly, there are five (5) steps, which an RSA holder must fulfill to transfer retirement saving accounts and pension assets.
The first step is for the RSA holder to ensure that he or she completed data recapture with current PFA also known as transferring PFA (TPFA). Data Recapture entails the current PFA (TPFA) updating details of the RSA holder on the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS). Only RSA holders who registered before 1st July 2017 are eligible for data recapture.
The second step is the submission of RSA transfer request to the receiving PFA. In order to achieve this, the RSA holder approaches the receiving PFA and submits the transfer request. On submission, the RSA holder provides his or her surname, RSA PIN, email and current phone number”.
The third step stage, which is the validation of identity, is carried out by the receiving PFA. The RSA holder intending to transfer would be required to provide fingerprint for the authentication of identity on the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC’s) database. Thereafter, the receiving PFA will be issued a printed confirmation slip, which should be signed by the RSA holder as proof that his or her transfer has been submitted.
The next stage after the validation is the transfer of RSA funds and pension asset to the receiving PFA by the current PFA. Accordingly, the current PFA will transfer all the funds in your RSA to your new PFA at the end of the applicable quarter. The process is closely monitored by PenCom.
A consistent upward trend is still expected as RSA holders continue to realize the ease with which they can initiate the transfer of their RSAs. With this development, healthy competition and improved service delivery is being witness among PFAs. On the hand, it would help boost the confidence in Contributory pension scheme by the public as RSA holders now have the right to determine which PFA manages their pension contributions and retirement benefits.
Congratulations to National Pension Commission on the one-year Anniversary of the Implementation of Retirement Savings Account Transfer Window.
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