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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has urged pension fund administrators (PFAs) in the country to set aside a monthly budget for media campaign plans aimed at increasing micro pension plan membership (MPP).

In a Framework for Enlightenment and Public Awareness for the Micro Pension Plan distributed to all PFAs, the Commission stated this. It referred to Section 2.2 of the Circular on PFA Service Delivery.

Only 70,000 contributors have been documented two years after the plan was launched in the country, according to the Commission, out of a population of over 200 million people.

It was noted that, following the publishing of the MPP guidelines, a major success aspect was the necessity to strengthen public education in a consistent manner to raise the level of understanding and acceptability of the MPP.

It said that the framework spelled out the mechanisms for the commission and PFAs to ensure that the MPP’s public awareness campaign was effective and long-lasting.

The regulator noted that Section 2(3) of the PRA 2014 states that employees of businesses with fewer than three employees, as well as self-employed people, are eligible to participate in the scheme if they follow the Commission’s guidelines and that Section 23(f) of the PRA 2014 directs the Commission to “carry out public awareness, enlightenment, and education on the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the scheme.”

Sections 5.3.1(c) and 5.4.1(i) of the MPP 2018 Guidelines, according to the regulator, require the Commission to “create awareness by conducting public enlightenment and education on the establishment, operations, and management of MPP” and PFAs to “conduct regular public awareness, enlightenment, and education on MPP.”

Before advertising, promoting, or disseminating information on its products and services or on its operations, a PFA must seek prior written clearance from the Commission, according to Section 6.3.1 of the Guidelines for the Operations of PFAs.

According to PenCom, the framework intends to establish basic requirements for MPP enlightenment and public awareness, as well as assure adherence to best public relations techniques.

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