According to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), private-sector workers own 70% of the N12.7 trillion pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Dr. Umar Aminu, the Commissioner, Administration at PenCom, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a Town Hall meeting on effective pension administration in the public service organized by the Federation’s Office of the Head of Civil Service.
That came as Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Federation’s Head of Civil Service, stated that the federal government was considering a review of the Pension Reform Act of 2014.
Aminu stated that the money was a contribution from 9.3 million people in the private sector and the federal and state governments.
The Commissioner, who was filling in for PenCom Director-General Aisha Dahir-Umar, estimated that 5.8 million private-sector workers owned the majority of the contribution. His remarks came after reservations about a proposed use of pension contributions to pay pensions to Federal Government retirees.
“When we talk about the N12.7 trillion I mentioned today, this money is a contribution that belongs to 9.3 million people, including people who work for the federal government, the states, and, primarily, the private sector,” Aminu said.
“The private sector employs approximately 5.8 million people. Because they contribute more, the private sector owns more than 70% of this money. When the state is removed, we can see that the amount belonging to federal government employees and contributors is generally less than 10% to 20%.
“You can’t take private-sector money and spend it on the public sector because when we first discussed reform, there were contentious issues raised by the private sector that we were going to take their money and spend it on the public sector.”
The Commissioner also stated that PenCom was unable to conduct a review of pension retirement benefits because it was still waiting for the 33% from consequential adjustment benefits resulting from the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
Furthermore, he stated that the Commission had cleared all pension arrears up to December 2020 from the N100 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.
Also speaking at the town hall meeting, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), stated that the directorate had fully liquidated the 33% arrears for the 2010 pension increment. Ejikeme stated that over N7.2 billion was paid due to arrears and to pensioners who were not on the payroll and payment of entitlement to next of kin of verified deceased pensioners.
Meanwhile, Yemi-Esan stated that the Federal Government views the review of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 as a major task that must be completed. She explained that the government had received submissions from the Contributory Pensions Union of Nigeria and several officers urging the review to improve worker welfare.
Yemi-Esan revealed that her office had paid over N2.4 billion to over 594 beneficiaries as death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers from the N2.5 billion released by the federal government.