PenCom exempts retirees earning below N10,000 from pensions

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The National Pension Commission has said retirees who are entitled to less than N10,000 monthly pension at retirement can take the total money in their Retirement Savings Accounts.

The Head, Benefits & Insurance Department, PenCom, Obiora Ibeziako, said while delivering a presention entitled, ‘The administration of retirement benefits under the Micro Pension Plan’ during a workshop for journalists in Laogs.

He said the commission reviewed its regulation on enbloc payment to retirees which allowed retirees with less than N550,000 at retirement to withdraw all the balance in the retirement instead of being on monthly payment.

Ibeziako said, “There is a new regulation that says if your RSA balance cannot provide one-third of the minimum wage, you are allowed to go with the balance in your account.

“If your monthly pensions is not up to N10,000, which is a third of the N30,000 minimum wage, you can take all your savings.”

He explained that due to the reduction in the value of the money, it decided to review the enbloc amount which would amount to about N1.6m.

During a workshop with the theme , ‘Increasing informal sector participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme: The case for Micro Pension Plan’,  the Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the theme aligned with the commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.

The director-general, who was represented by the Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Abdulqadir Dahir, said the objective was to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the informal sector and those who are self employed through the Micro Pension Plan.

She said, “Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan remain one of the significant areas of focus of the commission. The MPP was conceptualised to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.

“The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old. To create awareness of the Micro Pension Plan, the Commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, is currently championing an industry media campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones.”

She noted that PenCom increased the minimum regulatory capital (shareholders’ fund) requirements of Pension Fund Administrators from N1bn to N5bn last year.

The recapitalisation, she explained, had a 12-month transition from April 27 2021, to April 27 2022.

“As of the deadline, all Pension Fund Administrators have complied with the commission’s directive to increase the minimum regulatory capital (shareholders’ fund) from N1bn to N5bn. The reason for the recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets under which I am pleased to inform you stood at 9,795,957 million and N14.27tn, respectively, as at June 30, 2022.

“It is expected that the exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.”

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