Stories by Rosemary Onuoha
IEI Anchor Pensions has opposed the proposed increase in the initial lump sum withdrawal from pension accounts to 75 per cent, saying it will destroy the very essence of pension which is a steady income at retirement.
The National Assembly is presently considering a proposal to increase the lump sum withdrawal to 75 per cent from 50 per cent.
Group Head, Business Development and Strategies, IEI Anchor Pensions, Jolaade Oduntan, said it looks exciting on to the ear but it is not futuristic, contrary to the underlying principle of pension.
Oduntan said, “Steady pension payment is to re-settle a retiree into a new life without creating a radical difference, retaining income consistency and considering the length of time one may live, up to 30 years of life after retirement.
“Children are less dependable as insurance when unemployment and under employment is high. But, many who may agitate for the 75 per cent lump sum in the name of business investment or building a house, may lose their money for not being skilled in business while some may be duped. Managing bulk sum is not an easy skill – especially if it looks like your last chance for income at old age.”
Oduntan noted that pension business takes care of an important part of life when everything is looking down. It is a social service. It must be protected not destroyed.
She stated: “Ignorance on the activities of the industry is disturbing. Even many of our leaders show this symptom. They should cherish and grow it. Pension is a social service. The contributory pension is pro-government, pro-people. We simply cannot play politics with it.
“Pension funds are not a pool of funds that can be accessed easily, as thought by many. They are individual accounts just like your personal accounts. No one can access more than he can. It took a lot of planning, discipline and diligence to assemble the pension funds.She said that IEI Anchor Pensions has repositioned for massive growth even as service delivery has greatly improved.
“Our retirees get their payments promptly. Complaints are rare. Regular SMS alerts and email quarterly statements are sent. This is better than hard copy statements, as they at times get lost in transit as there are no steady post office services or some people who lose their jobs are difficult to track. Our website and social media are interactive and customer friendly. So we encourage our contributors to keep updating their information to serve them better. We also have no sanctions from PenCom.