The Nigerian National Assembly has recently passed a bill that exempts it from the Contributory Pension Scheme, despite having operated the scheme for close to 2 decades.
This decision has been met with criticism from the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), which is the umbrella body for all Pension Fund Administrators in the country.
In a statement titled ‘Exemption of the National Assembly staff from the Contributory Pension Scheme – Matters arising’, PenOp expressed its concern over the dangerous precedent set by the passage of the bill, which will negatively affect hardworking Nigerians across both the private and public sectors who rely on the Contributory Pension Scheme for their retirement security.
PenOp stated that the introduction of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria marked a departure from the unsustainable pension schemes that the country had been operating in the past, and that it has brought transparency, international best practice, and guaranteed peace of mind to millions of pensioners. For these reasons and many more, the need for the bill to exempt the National Assembly Service from the scheme is unjustifiable.
Furthermore, PenOp expressed concern over the way the bill was passed, as it was done so during the National Assembly’s recess and without any public hearing. This deprived critical stakeholders of the opportunity to provide their input on the bill, including issues such as the amendment of retirement age, funding of pension liability, and the potential debt burden on the government.