The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Pensions, Hon. Bamidele Salam has charged Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) to ensure greater transparency in the investment of pension funds in the Retirement Savings account of contributors to the Pension funds in Nigeria.
Speaking as the Chairman of a Discussion Series organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch on Pensions for Lawyers, Hon. Salam stated that majority of Pension funds contributors were unaware of various options available to which they could make decisions before their contributions are invested by the PFAs in the country.
The lawmaker contended that because the contributory Pension system “is still relatively new, there is a need for continuous engagement by stakeholders in order to improve on the laws governing the industry as well as ensure that contributors play more active roles in issues of investment and returns on such investments by Pension funds Administrators and custodians of the funds”.
He assured that the House of Representatives would partner with the Nigeria Bar Association and any other relevant Civil Society organisation to improve on Nigeria’s Pension management system to make it more compliant with international best practices.
Salam commended the NBA Abuja Branch for putting together the Discussion Series that will not only help its members do better in practice and their personal lives, but also bring to fore, discussions of pension issues that are of great importance to everyone in some form of employment. He urged Legal Practitioners particularly, to as a matter of importance, begin to set money aside in Pension Funds for the future.
According to him, “there is clearly a need for enlightenment and education of the public on the several aspects of the pension laws and practice as well as how contributors can key into the several provisions of these regulations and laws. It is clear that the bulk of information that has been shared in this Discussion series is not available to a lot of people who need them; we need to ensure that our people are adequately informed.”
The Discussion series which featured presentations from stakeholders in the Private and the Public Sectors including the National Pension Commission (PenCom), was themed ‘Pension for Lawyers: Opportunities for Practice and Retirement’ and it was aimed at enhancing the capacity of lawyers to effectively offer their professional services in the industry as well as plan for their personal retirement after active service at the bar; leverage on the growing practice members of the branch on the extant pension laws so they can appropriately make references in the course of their legal practice.