PenCom’s focus is to drive MPP – Dahir-Umar tells CSGs

By Favour Nnabugwu
National Pension Commission, PenCom, has said the one of main focus of the Commission is the strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) as PenCom sensitise Civil Society Groups, CSGs, on Micro-Pension Plan, MPP.

The conference which the second in the series to theme: ‘Enhancing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme’ held in Abuja, said the Roles of Civil Society Groups’ is meant to bridge the gap between PenCom and the public.

The Director-General of PenCom, Mrs Aishat Dahir-Umar in her paper delivered at the conference said the conference provides a great opportunity for the Commission to enlighten and interact with relevant Civil Society Groups in order to elicit better understanding of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and the Commission’s activities in general.
Dahir-Umar said that the need to constantly interact and inform you of recent developments in the pension industry and some of the other laudable transformational initiatives by the Commission.
The Commission, she said is facilitating efforts by the Pension Fund Administrators to provide incentives for the MPP. One key incentive that is being worked upon is the provision of health insurance to the Micro Pension contributors.
“This recognizes the need for the MPP to provide more access to health care services, which is often lacking in critical times of need”.
She told the participants that the  Micro Pension Plan (MPP) was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.

“The MPP aims to curb old-age poverty by assisting the participants to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they are no longer in active working life”.

PenCom’s expectation, according to the DG, is learning points from the conference which would be disseminated to your target audience and the larger society, “in addition to creating awareness and deepening the understanding of members of the CSGs, the conference should also elicit their participation in the MPP”.
Dahir-Umar recounted the feats achieved by the Commission, “Some of the recent significant accomplishments by the Commission include the issuance of the Guidelines on Accessing 25 percent (%) of RSA Balance towards payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA holders.
“This innovative development provides equity finance for RSA holders, facilitates their ownership of residential homes during their working life, and ultimately improves their living standards”
“The  Guideline effectively implements the provisions of Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA), 2014 which aligns with one of the Commission’s core value of responsiveness, based on the need to improve the standard of living of active employees and retirees under the CPS”
“In  addition to the above stated, the Commission also concluded the increase of the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of PFAs from N1 billion to N5 billion”
The recapitalisation exercise, which spanned a 12-month period was concluded on 27 April 2022. As of the deadline, all PFAs had complied with the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion.
“The recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the PFAs to manage the increasing number of registered contributors and pension fund assets, the value of which I am pleased to inform you stands at about N14.42 Trillion as at 30 September, 2022”.
She continued, “The exercise is expected to bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.
“Further to its regulatory and supervisory functions, the Commission has continued to issue new Guidelines, Frameworks, and Regulations while strengthening existing ones, to make for the smooth implementation of the CPS and the welfare of active employees and pensioners under the Scheme”
“The  Commission issued the Revised Regulation on the Administration of Retirement and Terminal Benefits to ensure that pensioners receive their benefits promptly”
The DG went on to relay other achievements by PenCom, “The key highlights of the Revised Regulation include clarifications and simplification of documentation processes, RSA consolidation before payments of retirement benefits, accrued pension benefits for private sector contributors, and additional lump sum payments”
 The Revised Regulation also contains several new provisions on Pension Enhancement, Voluntary Contributions, payment under the MPP, payment of benefits of missing persons, and payment of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) benefits.
PenCom DG, Aishat Dahir-Umar speech at Sensitization of Civil Society Group on Micro-Pension Plan

WELCOME REMARKS BY AISHA DAHIR-UMAR, DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL PENSION COMMISSION, AT THE SENSITIZATION CONFERENCE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ORGANIZED BY THE COMMISSION ON 24 NOVEMBER, 2022 AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL ROYALE, PLOTS 194/196, CADASTRAL ZONE A8, ADETOKUNBO ADEMOLA CRESCENT, WUSE II, ABUJA

  Protocols

Distinguished Ladies and GentlemenI am highly delighted to welcome you all to this sensitization Conference for Civil Society groups. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Enhancing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme: The Roles of Civil Society Groups’.

This conference provides a great opportunity for the Commission to enlighten and interact with relevant Civil Society Groups in order to elicit better understanding of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and the Commission’s activities in general. Distinguished participants, this Conference, which is the second in the series, has become quite imperative due to your critical roles as the bridge between government agencies and the public, thus, the need to constantly interact and inform you of recent developments in the pension industry and some of the other laudable transformational initiatives by the Commission.

The Micro Pension Plan (MPP) was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.  I am pleased to inform you that members of the Civil Society Groups are also welcome to participate and save for their old age. The MPP aims to curb old-age poverty by assisting the participants to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they are no longer in active working life.

 Given the peculiarities of the target participants, the Commission is facilitating efforts by the Pension Fund Administrators to provide incentives for the MPP. One key incentive that is being worked upon is the provision of health insurance to the Micro Pension contributors. This recognizes the need for the MPP to provide more access to health care services, which is often lacking in critical times of need.The Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remains one of the important areas of focus of the Commission.

 Therefore, it is the Commission’s expectation that the learning points from this conference would be disseminated to your target audience and the larger society, in addition to creating awareness and deepening the understanding of members of the CSGs, the conference should also elicit their participation in the MPP. Distinguished participants, the current Commission’s leadership is focused on transforming the pension sector.  Some of the recent significant accomplishments by the Commission include the issuance of the Guidelines on Accessing 25 percent (%) of RSA Balance towards payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA holders.

This innovative development provides equity finance for RSA holders, facilitates their ownership of residential homes during their working life, and ultimately improves their living standards. The Guideline effectively implements the provisions of Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA), 2014 which aligns with one of the Commission’s core value of responsiveness, based on the need to improve the standard of living of active employees and retirees under the CPS.In addition to the above stated, the Commission also concluded the increase of the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of PFAs from N1 billion to N5 billion.
The recapitalisation exercise, which spanned a 12-month period was concluded on 27 April 2022. As of the deadline, all PFAs had complied with the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion. The recapitalisation exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the PFAs to manage the increasing number of registered contributors and pension fund assets, the value of which I am pleased to inform you stands at about N14.42 Trillion as at 30 September, 2022.
The exercise is expected to bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry. Further to its regulatory and supervisory functions, the Commission has continued to issue new Guidelines, Frameworks, and Regulations while strengthening existing ones, to make for the smooth implementation of the CPS and the welfare of active employees and pensioners under the Scheme.
The Commission issued the Revised Regulation on the Administration of Retirement and Terminal Benefits to ensure that pensioners receive their benefits promptly.The key highlights of the Revised Regulation include clarifications and simplification of documentation processes, RSA consolidation before payments of retirement benefits, accrued pension benefits for private sector contributors, and additional lump sum payments.
 The Revised Regulation also contains several new provisions on Pension Enhancement, Voluntary Contributions, payment under the MPP, payment of benefits of missing persons, and payment of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) benefits.  Furthermore, it introduced Administrative Sanctions on PFAs who disregard the provisions of the Regulation. The sanctions are to ensure that PFAs promptly process the payment of retirement benefits to retirees. Distinguished participants, the conference was carefully designed to reflect the stated theme.
The first paper to be presented is titled “The Micro Pension Plan: panacea for Old Age Poverty in the informal Sector”. This paper provides a synopsis of the MPP, and its objectives. The second presentation is titled” How Micro Pension Funds are Invested for the Benefit of the Contributors” and;The third paper is titled” The Administration of Retirement Benefits under the MPP”. I therefore, implore all participants to maximise the benefits of these presentations towards greater understanding of the Micro Pension Plan.
Finally, I wish to express the Commission’s immense gratitude to you all, for taking time off your busy schedules to participate in this conference.  I encourage you to make this conference as interactive as possible by seeking clarifications where necessary. I wish you all a successful participation at this conference.Thank you and God bless.
RSAs transfer over N227bn between PFAs since inception in 2020

*** PenCom marks two years of RSA transfer window
By Favour Nnabugwu
Retired Saving Accounts, RSA, owners have been able to pull out over  N227 billion between the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs by 78,821 RSAs as National Pension Commission, PenCom marks two years of it
RSA Transfer is the transfer of an individual’s Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another, processed through the RSA Transfer System (RTS).
Since inception of the RSA transfer window, a total of 78,549 RSAs have transferred accounts from one PFA to another, pulling out a grand total of N227,200,170.318.02 from November 16, 2020 to September 30, 2022.
Even as PenCom marks the second anniversary of the rollout of RSA Transfer window, the main goal of the RSA Transfer Window is to allow RSA holders the right to transfer their accounts from their existing Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to other PFAs of their choosing as provided by Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.
In the second quarter of 2022, 14, 821 RSAs moved N50, 218,505,218.53 form one PFA to another.

Specifically, section 13 of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, states that a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Holder may transfer his RSA from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another. It also specifies that such transfer should not be more than once a year.

The RSA transfer window, between November 2020 and December 2021 has enabled over 50,000 contributors to switch to their preferred PFA. This has increased the competition in the industry, as PFAs are forced to best themselves by printing impressive ROIs and improving their consumer experience in order to ensure customer retention.

In terms of transfer eligibility, Only recaptured RSA holders and those who registered after June 2019 can transfer their RSAs. Active contributors and retirees on Programmed Withdrawal can transfer their RSAs. Retirees who are receiving an annuity and making voluntary contributions can also transfer their RSAs. 

Furthermore, RSA holders can only make subsequent RSA transfers 365 days after the effective date of their last RSA transfer.

Director-General of PenCom, Mrs Sishat Dahiru-Umar said the Data Recapturing Exercise, DRE is necessary before transfer of RSAs.

According to her, “The DRE is of immense benefit to the RSA holder, as it will facilitate the payment of retirement benefits to RSA holders and transfer by RSA holders from one PFA to another”

Dahiru-Umar further stated, “The  DRE would also allow RSA holders to amend incorrect personal details earlier submitted to PFAs and assist the commission in identifying and eliminating multiple RSA registrations from the contributors registration system (CRS) database”.

Kebbi Govt to pay retirees N3.5bn Outstanding gratuities

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said his administration has earmarked N3.5billion for the payment of outstanding gratuities to retired civil servants in the state.

Bagudu revealed this at a Town Hall meeting on the 2023 budget of the state held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential lodge, Birnin Kebbi.

According to the governor, the state government will defray the outstanding gratuities owed retirees from Dec. 2021 to Sept. 2022.

He explained that the state government has made adequate arrangements to ensure that the payments were made on before the end of this year.

Bagudu also vowed that his administration would not bequeath any unnecessary liabilities to the incoming government in the state.

The governor said hat the last seven years had been horrendous for the world economy, resulting in global financial turbulence.

The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum further said,”it is even a miracle that Nigeria had been kept together.

Bagudu said:”I must thank the public servants and the generality of the people of the state for their uncommon show of support and cooperation.

“” I must also thank the people of the state for making do with some of our inadequacies .

“”However, every government should be judged by the challenges it faces and we are glad that we have done our best.

“We will sustain our modest efforts to govern the state transparently, honestly and piously and insha Allahu, the incoming administration will consolidate our achievements.”

He reeled out some completed and ongoing programmes, projects and policies of the state government, saying, “our main objective is to make life easier for the people of the state.

“This affects all the sectors of the economy and we are happy that we have done modestly fabulous.”

He commended the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning under the leadership of the Commissioner, Dr. Abba Sani Kalgo, the Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Aisha Usman and their team for ensuring the annual budget of the state receives input from traditional rulers, associations and other of relevant stakeholders.

In his welcome address, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Babale Umar Yauri,mni appreciated the presence of Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, top Government officials ,royal fathers, civil society groups and international partners at the town hall meeting.

He said the budget town hall meeting, which was the 4th in the series of town hall meetings organized by this administration, was aimed carrying along every indigene of the State in the preparation and execution of fiscal policies aimed at promoting good governance.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Budget and Economic Planing, Hajiya Aisha Usman gave and overview of 2022 budget performance while the Co-Chair Open Government Partnership, OGP, Ibrahim Abdullahi Ngaski presented outcomes of zonal town halls meeting and citizen input into the 2023 budget.

The Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Abba Sani Kalgo had earlier given highlights of the 2023 budget tagged ‘ Budget of Enduring Legacies ‘

According to him the proposed 2023 budget was prepared in
line with the Kebbi State 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

He explained that the 2023 Budget is based based on a benchmarked oil price of $57 per barrel, Oil production is benchmarked at 1.8 million Barrels Per day, inflation rate is estimated at 20.77% and an Exchange rate of N440 to $1.

The Commissioner averred that the proposed 2023 Budget is in the total sum of One Hundred and Sixty-Six Billion, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Five Million,Seventy-Five Thousand, One Hundred and Ten Naira (N 166,985,075,110) only.

Capital Expenditure he said is 107,323,421,342 – 64% while
Recurrent Expenditure – 59,661,653,768 – 36%.

He pointed out that ‘ This is 10.7% reduction in total budget size from 2022 This is a 3% reduction in capital expenditure from the 2022 budget

” Projected VAT increases from 20.05 billion in 2022 to 20.05 29.95 billion in 2023. Grant and aid projections are down from
47.63bn in the 2022 budget to 38.56 bn. Our Miscellaneous Revenue projections have
reduced from N3.0bn in 2022 Budget to N3.47 bn in the proposed 2023 budget.

Kalgo commended Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his transparency and accountability approach in the management of state’s resources which earned the state five honors from the Federal Ministry of Finance and the World Bank.

Industry operators yearn for redesign of Micro insurance & Pension plans 

CAPTION:

L- Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona, President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Edwin Igbiti presenting plague to Mr Cyril Ajagu, Chairman of Africa Allianc at the event

 

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Insurance and Pension practitioner have called for the redesign of the micro insurance and pension plans to accommodate both the Nano enterprise and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Micro Pension Plan refers to an arrangement under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) that allows the self-employed and persons working in organisations with less than three (3) employees to make financial contributions towards the provision of pension at their retirement or incapacitation.

Industry operators who spoke at the 7th edition of NAIPCO conference in Lagos, said that operators must recognize the segmentation of the informal sector and begin to offer products to suit their needs . This they said must be done in order to improve the adoption level of the plan.

This is even as the experts fear that this will further trigger old age poverty as huge percentage of SMEs are yet to onboard into the plan.

Speaking on the theme, ‘On-Boarding Small and Medium Scale Enterprises into Micro Insurance and Pension Space in Nigeria, Managing Director, Heirs Life Insurance Limited, Mr. Niyi Onifade, noted that MSMEs and SMEs have several risks that insurance operators must look into to provide a cover in order  to  limit old age risk.

According to him, insurers must begin to understand that SMEs are not just the artisans, vulcanisers on the road, but has expanded  to the technology guys, photographs including the well educated who control different kinds of businesses. 

He urged operators to improve on the awareness level to further deepen adoption of the plan.

“We must also have appropriate products services that meet the needs of the SMEs  because the needs are different. What you offer to the mechanic cannot be the same as what you offer to the professional photographer.The  requirements are different and we have to come up with specific products for each and every class.”

On her part, Chief Executive officer, Enterprise Risk , Mrs Funmi Omo said: “For us as insurance practitioners, there are a lot we should do. We have to start by engaging people at the level of which they are.

“Since we have a lot of educated and non educated people in the informal sector then we have to be diverse in our engagement.”

According to her, this can be achieved through adoption of technology adding, “using digital means is crucial because it ensures efficiency.”

On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, (PenOp) Mr. Oguche Agudah lamented the low adoption of the plan while describing it as a national emergency scheme which will be used to save the future of the country.

According to him, operators must begin to look at how to make the scheme suitable, available and how to  incentivize them.

Insurance, pension operators propelled for incentives to NMSMEs

By Favour Nnabugwu
Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona has advised insurance and pension operators to come with incentives to attract micro clients
Almona while delivering paper on the “Onboarding MSMEs into Micro Insurance and Pension Space in Nigeria,” at the 7th Annual Conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Lagos, Thursday gave the advise.
“Although the Insurance and pension sectors have been doing a lot in driving the financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government, there is need to incentivize and encourage those in the informal sector, the Nigerian Nano, Micro, Small and Medium and Enterprises NMSMEs operators to embrace micro insurance and join the micro pension plan,” Dr. Almona said.
While calling on Insurance underwriters and pension administrators to take advantage of numerous opportunities that abound in the NMSME sector, she said “NMSMEs presents huge opportunity for the micro insurance and pension industry due to the size of the workforce.”
Other opportunities include Large MSMEs employment/labour force, large willing adult population, expanding distribution channels, favourable regulatory environment, mature financial services sector and revolution in information technology and digital

Statistically, the LCCI DG said the total number of employment by MSMEs stood at 61.9 million representing 87.9% of the total labor force in the country, adding that the number of employment generated by the informal sector was 16 million while the formal sector generated 7.5 million in 2020.

On the need to step up awareness and enlightenment of the NMSMEs on the benefits of micro insurance and micro pension and application of technology Dr Almona said “investment in enlightenment campaigns and enabling technology are required.”

The benefits, according to her, include a safety net at retirement, alignment with the current social empowerment programmes, minimizes old-age poverty, Improves standard of living for the elderly

While calling on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to provide necessary regulatory framework that supports NMSMEs, said stated “With regulatory support, Nigeria is well placed to achieve meaningful micro-pension coverage rapidly as well as enhance insurance penetration.

Speaking on the micro insurance Industry, Dr Almona said the ratio of insurance assets to gross domestic product (GDP) has remained stagnant at 1%, noting that Microi-insurance in Nigeria is at a very early but growing phase.

On the Nigerian Micro Pension Industry, she said the percentage ratio of pension assets to GDP remains low, stating that the total pension contribution remitted by the public sector is slightly higher than that of the private sector which, according to her, further justifies the low penetration of pension in the private sector of the economy.

Also, the Head, South West Office of PenCom, Dr Tunde Alayande that the on-boarding SMEs into the Micro Pension scheme is one of the strategies in which the pension industry has been contributing to the financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government.

He said the micro pension plan was designed for those in the informal sector including the SMEs

Dr Alayande said that PenCom In collaboration with the Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), has come up with lots of initiatives for the SMEs for the benefit of the industry.

In his goodwill message on behalf of all members of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), the Chairman , Sugun Omosehin commended NAIPE for the conference., noting that the conference the conference is not only significant to the insurance Insurance Industry but also to the entire financial services industry.

According to him, “the reason personally I am here today is that significant. NAIPE is not only projecting the image of the industry but in such a manner of making people get to understand what we do, what we represent and how he can impact our economy”

Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairman of NAIPE, Mrs Nkechi Naeche Esezobor said the theme of the conference Onboarding MSMEs into Micro Insurance and Pension Space in Nigeria,” was considered because of the importance of SMEs as driver and engine of growth of the Nigerian economy and the need to support it to continue to contribute to the growth of the economy.

She urged micro insurance and micro pension operators to see SMEs as their growth assets by ensuring that they are properly captured .
Faces at NAIPCO ‘s 7th Conference in Lagos

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors, NAIPE held its 7th Annual Conference in Lagos. Faces at the event held at Oriental Hotel. Lagos

CAPTIONS:

L- Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Olusegun Omosehin and the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Edwin Igbiti at the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents, NAIPCO 7th annual conference in Lagos

Mr. Director- General of the College of Insurance and Financial Management, Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu; President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Edwin Igbiti; Olabisi Adekola of African Alliance and Funmi Omo of MD, Enterprise Life Insurance at the event.

R- President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Edwin Igbiti, Mr Cyril Ajagu,  Chairman of Africa Alliance, Nkechi Naeche-Esesebor, chairman of Nigerian Association of insurance and Pension Editors, NAIPE, Deputy Director, Communication & Market Development, Mr. AbdulRasaaq Salami and MD of Enterprise Life, Mrs Funmi Omo at the conference

L- Deputy Director, Communication & Market Development, Mr. AbdulRasaaq Salami present plague to the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona

L- Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Chinyere Almona, President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mr. Edwin Igbiti presenting plague to Mr Cyril Ajagu, Chairman of Africa Allianc at the event

R- Managing Director of Royal Exchange General Insurance, Mr Benjamin Agili and Dr. Tunde Alayande of National Pension Commission

R- Director-General of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Yetunde Ilori and Funmi Omo of MD, Enterprise Life Insurance

Dr Ben Ujoatuonu of Universal Insurance, Mr Cyril Ajagu, Chairman of Africa Alliance and Mr Sylva Ogwemoh of Africa Alliance

L- Damilola Ayinde of ARM Pension, Mr Kunle Odewunmi, president of the Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria, ARIAN and Jeremiah Okpako of ARIAN

 

Access Corporation to acquire equity stake in Sigma Pensions Ltd

By Favour Nnabugwu

Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation ha been granted approval by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) and First Ally Asset Management Limited (First Ally)of Sigma Pensions Ltd

FGPL and First Ally to acquire the entire issued shares of Actis Golf Nigeria Limited (AGNL) being the sole shareholder of Sigma by extension Sigma Pensions Limited (Sigma). 

The Corporation had recently announced its acquisition of majority equity stake in FGPL. It is intended, subject to the receipt of relevant regulatory approvals that the operations of FGPL and Sigma will be merged to create Nigeria’s fourth largest Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) by Assets Under Management.

Commenting on this landmark transaction, Group Chief Executive, Access Corporation,. Dr. Herbert Wigwe said, “Having concluded our divestment from the pension funds custody sector and our recent acquisition of FGPL, we are pleased with the progress we are making regarding our diversification and growth into the pension funds administration sector. We are particularly pleased to have reached this agreement with Actis. Our plan is to consolidate these entities to create a formidable pension funds administration business”

Wigwe further stated, “The  proposed consolidation will leverage the Corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to provide contributors with sustainable world class pension funds administration services.”

Speaking on the transaction, Natalie Kolbe Non-Executive Director of Actis, Mr. Natalie Kolbe noted, “Sigma has transformed during our partnership, and we are delighted that Access, a well-respected operator, is set to support the company across its next phase of growth. The market Sigma operates in is ripe for consolidation and I have no doubt that with such a capable backer, they will go from strength to strength.”

The Corporation promised to update the market in accordance with its disclosure obligations.

 

PenCom to start online verification, enrolment from October 17

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) will flag off the 2023 online verification and enrolment exercise for retirees/prospective retirees of Federal Government Treasury-Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from 17 October to December 31, 2022.

PenCom in a statement pointed out that those eligible are employees of federal government treasury-funded MDAs scheduled to retire in 2023 and, those who missed the enrolled exercises in previous years.

The concerned Prior are required to visit their PFAs to undergo the data recapture exercise which entails providing their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) registration details, Personal Identification Number (PIN) and their National Identity Number (NIN).

However, those who had undergone the data recapture exercise earlier are not required to repeat it.

There are two options of enrolment, first the self-assisted, they 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 enrol.

The second, pension desk officer/PFA-assisted, were those who were unable to complete the online registration for any reason are expected to approach their respective MDAs or visit their PFAs for assistance.

PenOp says PenCom Guideline on mortgage will create massive jobs

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has commended the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for the release gog guideline on mortgage would creat massive jobs

PenOp in a statement on Tuesday said the guideline jobs in the construction value chain for artisans and others

it will be recalled that the guidelines released by PenCom allows pensioners to use their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) as equity contribution for obtaining residential mortgages.

“We believe it will create massive jobs for artisans and blue color workers involved in the construction value chain and also further open up wealth management and financial planning industry”

“RSA holders will now begin to plan towards a target RSA balance because they have a goal of owning a home.

Though the provision, PenOp said had been part of the amendments that occurred when the Pension Reform act was amended in 2014.

“We are aware that the process of actualizing this portion of the act has gone through a number of iterations and stakeholder engagement and we are happy that it has finally been released”.

“Whilst we realize that there might be some initial teething problems, we the pension operators are excited and are primmed to partner with the commission, RSA holders and other stakeholders to ensure that this policy actualizes the reason for why it was set up”.

It added that the home ownership ratio and first-time home buyer statistics in Nigeria is very low and we believe that this policy will help to improve this and also provide increased benefits to RSA holders in the immediate.

This policy is very catalytic in nature and has the potential to spur growth in other sectors of the economy, It should boost the mortgage finance and home loan sector, in addition to having a positive effect on the construction value chain and building materials sector.

“We also believe that voluntary contributions will increase because people can use the contingent portion of their voluntary contributions as part of the equity contribution for residential mortgages. In addition, more companies will now take their contributions more seriously as will staffs of these companies.

“For those who do not have an RSA account and are working in the formal sector, we urge them to commence the process in conjunction with their employers.

“For those in self-employment, we also encourage them to take advantage of the Micro Pension Plan (MPP). Regarding the MPP, we are also happy that the policy extends to this is extended to self-employed individuals and those in the informal sector.

“We believe this will help to grow the Micro Pension business and ensure that millions of Nigerians in the informal sector will have the opportunity to enjoy structured pensions when they retire and also benefit from the gains of the pension reform.

“Overall, we believe this policy is net positive for the pension industry and the economy as a whole.”

It noted that the effects are catalytic and will help to galvanize various sector of the economy, while adding that the pension industry over the years has played a significant role in the local debt and equity market, financing National and Sub National projects and debt programs and financed transformational companies and projects.

The industry according to the Association is primmed to do more and we believe that this new policy is another milestone in the positive effect of the pension industry on the economy and also another example of the collaborative nature of the pension regulator that leads to gains for the wider economy