The annual workshop is aimed at contributing and strengthening the capacity of the media in ensuring effective reportage of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and other related pension issues. The Workshop would provide updates on the Commission’s current transformational initiatives and strengthen the Commission’s collaboration with the media.
The theme of this years workshop; “Positioning the Pension Industry in a Post COVID Era” highlights the Commission’s laudable response to the pandemic through technology and engagement with relevant stakeholders.
In her opening remarks, PenCom’s Director General, Mrs Aisha Dahir Umar, who was represented by the Head, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Peter Aghahowa, informed the Journalists that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR had recently approved the Commission’s submission on the payment of some outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government, under the CPS.
The Presidential approval covered payment of outstanding accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded MDAs that are yet to be paid their retirement benefits, as well as the back log of death benefits claims due to beneficiaries of deceased employees of treasury funded MDAs.
Furthermore, the President also approved the payment of 2.5 percent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for FGN retirees and employees, which resulted from the increase in the minimum pension contribution for employers from 7.5 percent to 10 percent, in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.
These payments would undoubtedly, boost the RSA balances of the beneficiaries towards better retirement benefits. The settlement of these outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled FGN retirees would result in reversing a major challenge that has lingered since 2014. Also, the commencement of payment of the reviewed monthly pension contribution rate by the Federal Government is another significant step in ensuring compliance with the PRA 2014.
The most recent technological innovation introduced by the Commission is the in-house designed and developed online Enrolment Application, which has capabilities to register, verify and enroll prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). By the deployment of this new application, mass gathering of people has been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.
Another notable technological innovation by the Commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020. The RTS is a Computer Application developed by the Commission, through which RSA holders transfer their RSAs from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another. Indeed, the activation of the RSA transfer provision, which deepens individual choices, is a major milestone in the implementation of the CPS.
The Commission’s stakeholders should be reassured that the implementation of the CPS remains on course as the number of registered contributors under the CPS has grown to 9.38 million while pension fund assets have accumulated to N12.66 trillion as at 30 June 2021. The maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the Commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.
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