House Committee demands PenCom audited accounts from 2019 – 2022

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has demanded audited accounts of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM)) from 2019 to 2022.

The chairman of the committee, Hon. Busayo Wole Oke, demanded that the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Director of the Budget office to furnish the committee with the four audited accounts

Oke also directed the Clerk of Committee to write the SGF and the Budget Office to get these details when the Director General of PENCOM who was represented by the Commissioner in charge of Technical, Anyim Nyerere, appeared before it on Thursday .

The Auditor General of the Federation in a query to the Committee had said that the Commission had failed to render its audited financial accounts since 2013 till date.

However Nyerere said that the Commission failed to submit its audited financial account because it did not have a board at the time under review to ratify it as required by law.

He further explained that PENCOM had prepared the audited accounts from 2013 to 2017 which it submitted to the Office of the Auditor General but were rejected because they had no board in place and that the SGF was in charge of the budget of the Commission during this period.

Nyerere also said that the 2018 to 2020 budgets, by which time a board was constituted, for the Commission had been approved but yet to be submitted.

He said the 2021 and 2022 budgets were still at the draft stages and would be ready for submission within the next 30days.

Chairman of the Committee, Oke, excused the commission for not having a board saying it was not within their powers to constitute a board.

He decried a situation where sensitive agencies of the government like the PENCOM were being allowed by the Executive arm of government to run without boards for long periods of time.

He therefore declared that it was wrong that an agency whose assets had hit N14 trillion would be managed in such a shoddy manner.

He said that the Committee would decide the next line of action on the Commission upon the receipt of the copies of its budgets for the years under review from both the SGF and the office of the Director of Budget.

FG to commence online verification of retirees on June 20

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) will commence online verification and enrolment exercise for retirees of federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on June 20, 2022.

PenCom in a statement said the eligible groups for the exercise are first, employees of Federal Government MDAs scheduled to retire in 2022. Second, employees of Federal Government treasury-funded MDAs who missed the enrolment exercises in previous years.

Prior to enrolment, all retirees/prospective retirees are required to visit their PFAs and undergo the data recapture exercise, which entail providing their personal details including their National Identity Number (NIN). However, those who had undergone the data recapture exercise earlier are not required to repeat it.

The statement explained the enrolment options are self and pension desk officer/PFA assisted. The self-assisted retirees/prospective retirees are required to visit PenCom’s website (www.pencom.com.ng) and upload their employment details as well as scanned copies of required documents before proceeding to their respective PFAs for physical verification and enrolment.

The pension desk officer/PFA-assisted retirees/prospective retirees who are unable to complete the online registration for any reason could approach the pension desk officer of their respective MDAs or visit their PFAs for assistance. PenCom cleared that verification and enrolment by all concerned must be completed on or before 31 August, 2022

Total assets under CPS hit N14. 06 trn – PenCom

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

National Pension Commission released on Friday.shoed that total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme has hit N14.06trillion

This was contained in the National Pension Commission’s latest report titled, ‘Unaudited report on pension funds industry portfolio for the period ended 30 April 2022; Approved Existing Schemes, Closed Pension Fund Administrators and RSA funds (Including unremitted contributions

The funds, which ended December 31, 2021, at N13.42tn, rose to N13.61tn and N13.76tn as of the end of January and February 2022 respectively.

It rose to N13.88tn by the end of March, according to the data.

The data showed that N8.56tn of the total funds was invested in Federal Government securities, comprising bonds and treasury bills.

Other investment portfolios where the funds were invested included: domestic and foreign ordinary shares; corporate debt securities comprising corporate bonds; corporate infrastructure bonds; corporate green bonds, and supranational bonds.

PenCom also disclosed that the total number of workers with Retirement Savings Accounts rose slightly to 9.648 million by the end of April, from 9.529 million at the end of December 2021.

PFAs registered 93,113 RSAs in Q1 2022

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has said that 93,114 Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) was registered by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in the first quarter of 2022.

According to a report on PenCom’s official website checked by patomabusinessonline,. The report showed that RSA Transfer System (RTS), was a total of 7,663 RSA holders initiated RSA transfers in the first RSA Transfer Quarter of 2022, which was concluded in the first week of April 2022.

The report noted that 25 States of the Federation has enacted pension laws on the CPS, while eight states are at the bill stage, and four states adopted the Contributory Defined Benefits Scheme (CDBS).

The report showed that the registered 93,114 was made during the first quarter under review bringing the cumulative RSA registration from inception to 9,621,979 as at March 31.

“This covered RSA transfer requests, submitted by PFAs between January 1, and March 31, which were eligible for RSA transfer in the first quarter of 2022.
“Out of the total RSA transfers initiated, 5,543 RSAs were transferred to their new PFAs, along with their associated pension assets, while 2,120 transfer requests failed.

“The failed submissions by PFAs could be attributed to their internal processes, as all the PFAs recorded some failed RSA transfer request submissions,” the report reads.
It noted that an application was received by PenCom from the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), to transfer NSITF contributions, on behalf of 218 NSITF contributors during the quarter under review.

“Approval was granted to transfer N11.53 million to the RSAs of 213 contributors; on a similar note, the commission approved monthly pensions in the sum of N40.47 million to 2,304 NSITF pensioners.”

The report also stated that the compliance by State Governments to the status of Implementation of the CPS and other Schemes as at Q1 2022 was impressive.
“25 States of the Federation had enacted pension laws on the CPS, while eight states are at the bill stage, four states adopted the Contributory Defined Benefits Scheme (CDBS),” it stated.

The report also revealed that 11,200 applications was received by PenCom from private sector organisations for the issuance of Pension Clearance Certificates (PCCs).

“Out of this number, PCCs were issued to 10,541 organisations, while 659 applications were in the approval process as at March 31.

“The records showed that the 10,541 organisations actions had remitted a total sum of N59,39 billion into the RSAs of their employees, totaling 45,170,” the report said.

Disengaged Nigerian workers withdrew N5.66bn pension contributions in Q1 2022

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The National Pension Commission, PenCom, has revealed that 9,517 Nigerians who were disengaged by their employees withdrew N5.66 billion from their pension contributions in the first quarter of 2022.

PenCom stated this n its quarterly report published on its website and obtained by patomabusinessonline on Sunday

According to the pension act, “Anyone under the age of 50 years who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months can access 25 percent of their total savings”

The breakdown of the figure shows that 481 out of the workers were from the public sector and 9,036 from the private sector.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, PenCom reported that 10,804 workers withdrew N6.41 billion.

This indicates that in six months over N12 billion had been removed from the contributory pension fund.

In another report, PenCom cleared 10,541 companies for being faithful in the payment of their workers’ pension and insurance covers.

The companies, the commission noted were among the private firms eligible for government contracts.

PenCom also received 11,200 applications from private sector organisations for the issuance of Pension Clearance Certificates. Out of this number, PCCs were issued to 10,541 organisations while 659 applications were in the process for approval as at March 31.

“The records showed that the 10,541 organisations had remitted a total sum of N59.39billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts of their employees,” the report added.

PenCom recovers N422m pension remittance from defaulted employers

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has recovered N422.34 million from defaulting employers who failed to remit pension contributions by their employees to respective pension fund administrators (PFAs).

This is contained in the 2022 first-quarter report released by the commission on Tuesday. The figure is 30.6 percent lower than the commission’s recovery to the tune of N608.55 million in the first quarter of the preceding year.

PenCom said the amount comprises N124.89 million principal contribution and N295.45 million penalty.

It added that the sum was recovered from 23 defaulting employers during the quarter under review.

Meanwhile, it said six defaulting employers have been presented for appropriate legal action.

“Following the issuance of demand notices to defaulting employers whose pension liabilities were established by the recovery agents (RAs) appointed by the commission, the sum of N422.34 million representing principal contribution (N124.89 million) and penalty (N295.45 million) was recovered from 23 defaulting employers during the quarter under review,” the statement reads.

“The cumulative pension contributions from inception to the end of the first quarter of 2022 amounted to N7.77 trillion, which is an increase from N7.58 trillion as at the end of Q4 2021,” it added.

PenCom noted that the aggregate pension contributions of the public sector increased from N3.92 trillion in the last quarter of 2021 to N4.02 trillion at the end of Q1 2022.

Similarly, the aggregate pension contributions of the private sector increased from N3.66 trillion in Q4 2021 to N3.76 trillion at the end of Q1 2022

From January to March 2021, PenCom said it received a total of 11,200 applications from private sector organisations for the issuance of pension clearance certificates (PCCs).

“Out of this number, PCCs were issued to 10,541 organizations, while 659 applications were in the approval process as at March 31, 2022,” PenCom added.

“The records showed that the 10,541 organizations had remitted a total of N59.39 billion into the retirement savings accounts (RSAs) of their employees, totaling 45,170.”

The total value of pension fund assets as at March 31, 2022 was N13.88 trillion.

“The amount comprised of N9.81 trillion in RSA’ Active’ Funds (RSA Funds I, II, III and V); N1.10 trillion in RSA Retiree Fund (Fund IV); N1.54 trillion in CPFAs; N1.42 trillion in Approved Existing Schemes. Fund VI Active and Retiree Fund amounted to ₦23.16 billion,” it said.

The commission noted that employers are mandated to remit workers’ monthly pension contributions to their retirement savings account (RSA) for the exclusive purpose of providing retirement income

 

NUP vows to vote only pension friendly candidates

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has vowed to massively mobilise votes for any candidates that are pensioners friendly ahead of the 2023 elections.

The Senior Citizens explained that having such persons in power would guarantee a sense of belonging, respect and improved welfare for its members.

This is as the pensioners’ union has commended the Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) for embarking on result oriented actions that are easing many challenges faced by pensioners in accessing their pensions.

President of NUP, Comrade Godwin Abumisi, who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, said pensioners were keenly and curiously watching the political space and the ongoing aggressive campaigns being embarked upon by the various candidates vying for different positions under different political parties.

He said: “Certainly the pensioners shall pitch their tent with the Presidential or Gubernatorial candidates who are committed and more disposed to their cause and plight by massively casting their votes for them in order to secure their tomorrow.

“We are still watching them and for the first time in Nigeria, we are going to make sure anybody who will not be disposed favourably to Pensioners in Nigeria is going to fail in the elections. A time has come when the politicians will stop taking us for granted.”

Abumisi, who commended the PTAD for bringing succour and smiles to Nigerian pensioners through their various policies and interventions said the action has brought noticeable less agitation and outcry.

He said that PTAD could not be “held responsible for delay of monthly pensons or any related payments as misconceived by the misinformed general public.

According to him, the introduction of PTAD’s ‘”I Am Alive” application software was to routinely check the status of aliveness of pensioners and to remove death cases from the database and payroll, eliminate the rigorous physical verification exercise and most importantly, save the Federal Government billions of naira.

The NUP President however decries the “pathetic” plight and unfortunate living conditions of state pensioners, especially those in states where the governor’s are unwilling to pay their legitimate entitlements.

“With all sense of respect and responsibikity I call on the state governors as a matter of national emergency to immediately set up committee jointly with our state councils across the country to work out modalities on how state governors will liquidate all the outstanding entitlements that had accrued over the years.”

He said, “Even though I salute many state governors who are prompt in paying monthly pensions to our state pensioners, it is on record that majority of the state pensioners have not received their gratuity since retirement between five and years.

“More worrisome is that, almost all the state governors choose not to review the monthly pensions of their retirees as provided in section 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

 

73% of workers under CPS falls below 40 years

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) in its 2021 fourth-quarter report — Age and Gender Distribution revealed that most contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) are below 40 years.

The commission said the figure represents 73 per cent of the total contributors to the scheme.

According to the report, the number of male contributors surpassed females in the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders’ list.

Analysis of new registrations on the CPS for the quarter showed that 73 per cent were below the age of 40 years,” the report states.

“The Commission approved the payment of N6,414.57 million to 10,804 RSA holders under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months,” the report added.

“A total of N76.67 billion was paid as retirement benefits in Q4 2021. This was lower than the retirement benefits of N100.91 billion paid in Q3 2021 by N24.24 billion.”

“This points to the increasing sustainability of the CPS, as the younger generation are actively being enlisted into the scheme.

“Regarding gender distribution, 65 per cent of those that registered during the quarter were male, while 35 per cent were female.”
The report further added that over N6 billion was paid to retirees below 50 years under the retirement service account (RSA).

It said the retirement benefit paid was higher compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

All RSAs to go for data recapturing with PFAs – PenCom

By Favour Nnabugwu

All Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders  are to partake n the ongoing Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) with their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) as advised the National Pension Commission, PenCom.

The DRE is in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government that all data generating organisations should harmonise their databases with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). It
is also consistent with the need to have a credible database of all RSA holders in Nigeria.

The commission in a statement said the exercise was  for both active contributors and retirees whose data have not been recaptured.

Consequently, the PenCom urged all active contributors to visit their PFAs and provide the following documents to complete the data recapture: Staff Identity Card or any one of the following: National Driver’s License; or Permanent Voter’s Card; or International Passport (mandatory for non-Nigerians). Enrollment Slip issued by NIMCB; irth Certificate or Sworn Affidavit of Age Declaration. 

For retirees, who are either on programmed withdrawal or annuity, the Commission said they were expected to present the following documents:

National Driver’s License or any one of the following: Permanent Voter’s Card; or  International Passport (mandatory for non-Nigerians) Enrollment Slip issued by NIMC
and Letter of Retirement issued by the employer to the retiree.

All RSA holders, who have had a name change (either their surnames or first names or both after registration), they should present the following documents to their PFAs: Marriage Certificate (only applicable in the case of marriage); Newspaper publication for change of name; Sworn affidavit; Confirmation letter for change of name from employer (if still in employment)

All PFAs have been directed by PenCom to issue Acknowledgement Slips to RSA holders who submit complete documents for their data recapture. The RSA holders will be notified of the status of their data recapture (successful or not successful) within five working days of submission of documents.

Two agents, Payone Solution Systems Limited and Afritech Multi Concept Limited, have been engaged by PFAs to carry out the DRE consistent with PenCom’s approval. The agents are authorised to establish data recapture centres. RSA holders are allowed, therefore, to have their data recaptured at such centres by the agents (if they are unable to visit the offices of their PFAs).

May Day: Masari approves N1.5bn for retirees, promise more funds

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari announced the approval of N1.5 billion for the payment of benefits to those who retired from the state civil service between 2019 and 2020.

The said retirees are currently undergoing screening and verification exercise.

He assured that his administration will continue to inject more funds into payments of retirees benefits in the state to restore hope to those who put all their youthful years working towards the development of the state.

Masari gave the assurance while addressing workers in the state on the occasion of the 2022 May Day celebration held at the conference hall of the state’s local government service commission.

According to the Katsina Governor, the thrust of his restoration agenda is about taking and implementing measures that will give people of the state a brighter future.

Masari said so far, his administration is achieving this goal “through the many people oriented policies such as S-Power and the general improvement of welfare for the working class.”

He further noted that despite the dwindling resources, his administration has granted approval for the recruitment of 5,461 number of staff across all sectors to replace those who left the service.

The Katsina Governor also said he has granted approval for the replacement of 1000 teaching staff under SUBEB, 200 staff under the Judiciary as well as recruitment of 217 state indigenes under PHCA to effectively manage the state’s primary health care centres.

Masari urged workers in the state to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring a positive attitude, loyalty, commitment and dedication to work.