BY ROSEMARY ONUOHA

Pension Fund Operators of Nigeria, PenOp, has said that many employers have refused to buy group life insurance policy for their employees as mandated by the Pension Reform Act, 2004.

According to PenOp, many families of employees who died in active service have become impoverished because their employers refuse to take up the group life insurance cover.

Chairman of PenOp, Mr. Musbahu Yola, who made this assertion in Lagos, said that insurance of employees is something employers need to take seriously.

Recall that the Pension Reform Act 2004 stipulates that employers must take up a life insurance policy for their employees of three times the annual emolument of the employee.

However, Yola said that a significant fault of many employers is that they have refused to take up this mandate for the welfare of their employees.

In a similar vain, PenOp has countered the popular notion making the rounds that the pension fund is idle, arguing that the fund from the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, is pensioners’ money and is very active.

Recall that the pension fund which currently stands at over N6 trillion has been generating a lot of controversy from various segment of the economy with even the Senate demanding that the fund be invested in infrastructure, claiming that it is idle and not well utilised.

Meanwhile, PenOp denied the notion that it is idle; stressing that over 60 per cent of the fund is invested in Federal Government bonds.

According to PenOp, the government of the country should instead tell Nigerians how they have been utilising all the money they have been borrowing.

Meanwhile, Yola said that the new PenOp leadership will be focusing on having its own secretariat in the next few months which would help coordinate its activities.

He said that his administration would place more emphasis on branding and communication, adding that the Association would engage and interact more with the public to ensure that proper knowledge about the industry’s operations is acquired.

He said he will work closely with the media to ensure proper dissemination of information about the sector, stressing that the essence of the media in education and enlightenment cannot be over emphasised.

The Chairman further said that his team would collaborate with PenCom in the quest to encourage savings culture among young people, and that the collaboration will also ensure that the transfer window initiative is achieved.
On the informal sector, the Chairman said that a framework has been designed by the regulator and in few months

PenCom will roll out the guidelines that will enable them to empower the sector.

He further disclosed that the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs have started engaging the informal sector and have started putting incentives that will attract the informal sector.

On transfer Window, the PenOp boss attributed the  delay to lack of adequate equipment to handle the problem of identity, adding that  the regulator is doing all it can to ensure that the problem is resolved by next year.

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