The Federal Government has paid N455.17 billion in Accrued Rights to 103,301 retirees from April 2017 to March 2023, according to the National Pension Commission (PenCom). Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Director General of PenCom has revealed.
She explained that Accrued Pension Rights represent an employee’s benefits for the past years of service up to June 2004 when the Pension Reform Act (PRA) that gave birth to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) came into effect. Mrs. Dahir-Umar expressed appreciation for the Federal Government’s effort in clearing the accrued rights arrears and the affected retirees of the treasury-funded agencies for their patience.
PenCom’s plan for the future is to finalize a new Corporate Strategy to drive its mandate while continuing to strengthen its processes and institutional framework to ensure continuous consolidation of the gains of the pension reforms. She noted that a particular focus would be given to developing eligible instruments for pension fund investments in alternative assets, which would drive economic development in the country. The agency would continue to pursue capacity building in all areas of its operations to ensure the pension industry is effectively regulated and supervised.
Mrs. Dahir-Umar stated that the Commission under her leadership grew pension assets by over 100 percent in the last six years and tackled other salient issues in Nigeria’s pension sector. Despite inflation, COVID-19, and other challenges, Pension Fund Assets have recorded significant growth. She attributed this to income earned from investments and pension contributions from RSA holders. The number of registered pension contributors has also grown to 9.89 million as of January 2023. The goal of PenCom is to sustain the growth in pension fund assets and CPS membership despite economic headwinds.
Regarding the use of RSA balance to access equity contribution for residential mortgages by RSA holders, PenCom issued guidelines on Accessing Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Balance towards Payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA Holders last year. This development actualized the provisions of Section 89 (2) of the PRA 2014. As of March 24, 2023, PenCom had approved 13 applications amounting to N130.27 million after the publication of the names of mortgage lending banks eligible to participate.