The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has revealed significant milestones in Nigeria’s Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). According to PenCom, the number of Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) under the CPS has reached an impressive 10 million, reflecting the growing participation in the pension system. Furthermore, the size of pension assets under management has surged to a substantial ₦16.76 trillion in the third quarter of 2023.
Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Director-General of PenCom, made these announcements during an interactive session on the contributory pension scheme with private sector stakeholders in Abuja.
In another noteworthy development, contributions worth ₦10.20 billion have been successfully transferred to the RSAs of 142,486 staff members of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), who are contributors under the CPS. This move emphasizes the commitment to ensuring that all contributors have their funds managed efficiently.
To achieve this goal, PenCom urged employers to facilitate the transfer process by encouraging their employees who have contributed to the scheme to liaise with their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), with a particular focus on Trustfund Pensions, for guidance on transferring their contributions to their RSAs.
Dahir-Umar emphasized that PenCom continues to make significant strides in ensuring the smooth implementation of the CPS. This includes revising existing regulations and guidelines and developing new ones to enhance the pension system’s operation.
Furthermore, the Commission has deployed an Enhanced Contributors’ Registration System (ECRS) for the pension industry, aimed at streamlining the process and improving the accuracy of records. An additional data recapture exercise has been introduced, which requires all RSA holders who joined the CPS before July 1, 2019, to update their information with their respective PFAs, ensuring that their records are up-to-date.
Aisha Dahir-Umar underscored the commitment to robust social dialogue with the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and reiterated the support for NECA in driving programs that foster the successful implementation of the CPS in Nigeria.
Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director-General of NECA, expressed the private sector’s commitment to the success of the pension scheme and emphasized the importance of addressing concerns promptly. He highlighted that critical feedback from sessions like this is invaluable in enhancing the operationalization and administration of the pension scheme.
The Pension Reform Act 2014, according to Mr. Oyerinde, has transformed life after retirement, providing certainty and predictability for retirees. He acknowledged the need for continued collaboration to ensure the scheme’s success.
For the efficient implementation of Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, which allows RSA holders to transfer their RSAs between PFAs at least once a year, the Commission introduced the RSA transfer system in 2020. This computer-based application has improved service delivery by PFAs and streamlined the RSA transfer process, offering RSA holders greater flexibility.
These developments underscore the growth and positive impact of Nigeria’s Contributory Pension Scheme, ensuring a more secure and predictable future for retirees while fostering active collaboration between regulatory bodies, employers, and private sector stakeholders.