Pension Clearance Certificate: Requirements and Processing, a Publication by PenCom
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) commenced the issuance of Pension Clearance Certificates (PCC) to organisations in 2012.
The PCC is evidence of compliance with the PRA 2014 and a prerequisite for all suppliers, contractors, or consultants, soliciting any contract or business from Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
Therefore, PenCom issues PCCs to organisations that apply and have fully complied with the set requirements.
The Pension Reform Act, 2014 (PRA 2014) makes it mandatory for all organisations with at least three employees to participate under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Compliance with the PRA 2014 by employers includes, at minimum, the following:
- Ensuring all employees open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with any Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) of their choice.
- Remitting employer and employee monthly pension contributions to the appropriate Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) no later than seven working days from the date of payment of salaries.
- Transferring Pension Funds and Assets in their custody prior to the commencement of the CPS to licensed pension operators.
- Provision of Group Life Insurance Policy (GLI) for their staff.
A company wishing to obtain the PCC can do so by forwarding an application to PenCom and attaching the following:
a certified list of employees of the organization as at the end of the last fiscal year; certified rates of monthly contributions indicating the employer portion (minimum of 10 percent) and employee portion (minimum 8 percent) and; evidence of remittance of pension contributions for the last three fiscal years, for organisations that were in existence for that period, and, from the date of incorporation/registration/licensing to the last fiscal year, for organisations that have not been in existence for that period. In addition, the organization must also attach evidence of transfer of pension fund and assets for any pre-2004 retirement benefits scheme into the employees’ RSAs, where applicable; evidence of remittance of all outstanding pension contributions and penalties, where applicable; and evidence of valid Group Life Insurance Policy, which should include Certificate of Group Life Insurance, Policy Document and evidence of payment.
Applications for the PCC can be submitted at either the Commission’s Head office in Abuja or any of the Commission’s Zonal Offices. The addresses are available on PenCom’s website, www.pencom.gov.ng.
Processing of Certificates
The processing of certificates is carried out at the Commission’s Head Office. In processing the applications for the PCC, the Commission is guided by one of the primary objectives of the PRA 2014, which is to ensure that every person who works in either the public or private sector receives his benefits as and when due. Under the CPS, benefits can only be received as and when due where the employer remits its employees’ pension contributions as appropriate.
The applications are processed within the advertised time frame of 15 working days, provided that all requirements are met. In the event of any deficiency in an application, a notification is forwarded to the applicant for remedial action before the issuance of the PCC. However, the PCC will not be issued if the applicant fails to provide the requested documents. The PCC issued by PenCom is valid for one year, from January to December. However, applications are processed throughout the year, and regardless of the date of issuance, the validity of all PCCs expires by 31st December. It is important to emphasize that the PCC is issued to the applicant organization without cost.
Certificates are collected at the point of submission, either the Commission’s Head Office or Zonal Offices. Furthermore, applicants can confirm the status of their applications by checking the Commission’s website www.pencom.gov.ng where a list of organisations that were issued the PCC is uploaded to facilitate verification by interested parties. Consequently, any certificate that is not found on the website is not valid. Organisations whose applications were unsuccessful are advised on the specific issues concerning their applications.
According to records, in the second quarter of 2022, PenCom received 12,760 applications from organisations for Pension Clearance Certificates (PCCs). Out of this number, PenCom’s data shows that PCCs were issued to 10,085 organisations that met the requirements, while 2,675 applications are being processed. The records also show that a total sum of N43,778,899,890.04 was remitted into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 141,701 employees by the 10,085 organizations that were issued PCCs.
PenCom has continued to strive to ensure good service delivery regarding processing time and feedback as it relates to the issuance of the Pension Clearance Certificate and has recorded tremendous success in this regard. It is advisable for applications for Pension Clearance Certificates to be appropriately assembled and delivered in good time for the Commission to meet up with its processing time.
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