By Favour Nnabugwu
A total numbe of 25,645 workers who were displeased with their Pension Fund Administrators have transferred N102.59 billion in their Retirement Savings Accounts to other PFAs.
The National Pension Commission disclosed this in a presentation titled ‘Understanding the RSA transfer process’ during a seminar for journalists in Lagos.
According to the presenter, done by Hajiya Maryam Bello (Assistant General Manager, National Databank Management of the Commission, ” 2,799, 12,681 and 10,165 workers transferred N18.90bn, N47.78bn and N35.91bn in fourth quarter of 2020, Q1, 2021 and Q2, 2021 respectively.
The pension regulator opened the transfer window in November 2020″
She made mentioned of section 13 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 which empowered an RSA holder to transfer their RSA to any PFA of choice, not more than once a year.
Bello informed that effective transfer of RSAs from one PFA to another required an accurate and reliable database as it was important to ensure that the pension assets transferred belonged to the bona-fide RSA holders initiating the transfers.
PenCom stated that opening of the RSA transfer window was delayed to ensure that robust IT infrastructure that would drive the process was put in place.
This process was finalised in June 2019 with the deployment of an enhanced registration system for the pension industry.
The pension regulator stated that ECRS incorporated extensive validations, controls and data requirements that would deliver high data integrity standards for the pension industry.
On the need to thatu upgradeof RSA holders’ details to meet the ECRS standards was, therefore, a prerequisite for RSA transfers.
Those who registered with various PFAs from inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme to June 2019 were required to get recaptured.
To ensure that all RSA holders who needed to be recaptured were speedily recaptured, PenCom would have to approved the appointment of two agents to carry out a nationwide recapture exercise, beginning August 2021.
Bello said the agents were to recapture all staff of various employers, both in the public and private sectors, irrespective of their PFAs.
The exercise would be structured and carried out in accordance with the timetable approved by PenCom, while she added that respective employers would be contacted by the agents during the period scheduled for the recapture of their employees.
Bello stated that the PFAs would continue to recapture their clients who had urgent need for such.