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17 Micro Pension Contributors Get Funds from Savings Portion

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By Niyi Jacobs, Editor

Having made contributions toward targeted projects, 17 contributors to the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) have withdrawal N4.38 million from their savings portion in the first quarter of 2021.

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) on withdrawals from the contingent portion of micro pension contributions, said six Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) processed and approved requests amounting to N4,375,646.34 from 17 MPP contributors during the period under review.

PenCom also noted that during the quarter 19 PFAs registered 3,292 contributors under the Micro Pension Plan, stressing that in the same vein, a total sum of N16,711,942.25 was remitted to the RSAs of 435 contributors during the period.

The pension sector regulator said 105 Micro Pension Participants, within the same period converted to the mandatory Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and the sum of N963,136.42 was transferred to their respective RSAs.

The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the Micro Pension Plan was designed to fit the peculiarities of the informal sector groups, adding that PenCom had extensively engaged all relevant stakeholders and obtained their inputs before the product was developed to suit their requirements.
She posited that the product is flexible with respect to contribution amount and the channel of remittance of contributions to the respective pension accounts, stressing that access to accumulated contributions is also flexible, seamless and facilitated by technology through varied payment system platforms.

According to her, a prospective Micro Pension contributor is required to open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) by completing a physical or electronic registration form with a Pension Funds Administrator (PFA) of his/her choice, and the contributors may make contributions daily, weekly, monthly or as may be convenient to them.

She stated that every contribution shall be split into two, comprising 40 per cent for contingent withdrawal and 60 per cent for retirement benefits, adding that the contributor may, based on his/her needs, periodically withdraw the total or part of the balance of the contingent portion of his/her RSA, including all accrued investment income thereto.

The contributor, she said may also choose to convert the contingent portion of the contributions to the retirement benefits portion and the remaining balance in the RSA shall be available to the contributor upon retirement or attaining the age of 50 years.

“Pursuant to its regulatory and supervisory mandate, the Commission had established a separate Department dedicated to the supervision of all matters relating to Micro Pension Plan, including enforcement of compliance with the Guidelines and customer complaint handling and resolution. Our objective is to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery as well as transparency and accountability in the administration of the product by licensed pension operators,” she said.
She stated that guaranteed minimum pension will be given, provided the contributor made contributions for a cumulative period of not less than 120 months and the RSA balance at retirement shall not be less than N500,000.

She maintained that the plan is expected to significantly expand pension coverage to greater number of Nigerians and further generate additional long term funds for Nigeria’s economic development, adding that the Commission would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitize and enlighten the target participants and members of the public on the features and benefits of the Micro Pension Plan.

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Insurance & Pension

NSITF Misappropriated N84billion in Four Years – Senate

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The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund has misappropriated about N84bn within four years, the Nigerian Senate has alleged.

The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Matthew Urhoghide, who disclosed this on Monday, described the agency as a cesspool of corruption.

He stated, “Just a few mindless persons depleted our resources,” noting that the revelation came from 12 out 50 queries investigated so far by the committee.

According to him, it is unfortunate that the management and board of NSITF colluded between 2012 and 2017 to carry out the alleged graft.

“They are all guilty. They are implicated. They stole the place dry. The agency is most defiant and most notorious,” he said.

One of the queries read, “Audit observed that the fund had been implementing a salary structure that is not approved by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission. As a result, irregular payment of N38,219,919,530.32 by way of personnel cost was made to the staff of the fund from 2012 to 2017.

“Implementation of unapproved salary structure may result in wastage of public funds, as remuneration may be higher than the productivity level of staff. The Managing Director is required to provide the approval of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission for the implementation of the fund’s salaries structure.”

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