BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG & JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
Trustfund Pensions Plc, has concluded plans to move into the informal sector of the economy to bring the vast workers into its fold as soon as soon as National Pension Commission (PenCom) releases the guidelines for informal sector workers’ participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme.
This came as head of Ugandan’s Parliament delegation to Nigeria, Amos Lugoloobi, commended the ownership structure of Trustfund Pension Plc describing it as a perfect setting required to boost confidence in pension administration.
Managing Director of Trusfund Pensions, Mrs. Helen Da-Souza, who spoke in Abuja, explained that the untapped informal sector made about 80 per cent of the prospective contributors in the country.
Da-Souza said while the scheme had made tremendous inroads into registering workers in the formal sector, the scheme was still without the informal sector, the largest part of the working population.
According to her, Trustfund planned to move into the untapped market as soon as the guidelines are put in place by the Pension commission, saying “the informal sector makes about 80 per cent of the prospective contributors in the country.
So, we are working with National Pension Commission, which is setting up guidelines and platforms to capture this strategic sector of the Nigerian economy.”
Meantime Parliamentarian Lugoloobi said Trustfund Pensions had a prefect ownership structure that evoked trust among workers which could be adopted by any other country of the world.
Besides, he said that the involvement of Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress in the Trustfund Pension scheme was an eloquent testimony of the confidence and protection workers in Nigeria had on the scheme, noting that the implementation of the contributory pension scheme by Nigeria had proven to be the best way to go in pension fund administration.
According to him, “We are in Nigeria because we have heard that Nigeria is one of the countries that have done very well in pension management and we thought we have a few things to learn from pension administration that has been put in place by Nigeria. We are trying to reform the pension sub-sector of the Ugandan economy, which has been in turmoil.
“We are on a working visit to National Pension Commission to study on pension funds move from the point of contribution to its final destination when retiree can access his or her retirement benefits and also how the money is invested with a view to generating income for those contributing into the scheme.”
Lugoloobi disclosed that there were 160,000 workforce in Uganda that had not contributed to pension fund which he said had led to huge unpaid pension fund.
“Right now, we have so many retirees that have come up and that has put a lot of liabilities on the budget of the country that we have been unable to pay.”