Head, Marketing & Business Development, AXA Mansard Pensions Limited, Naomi Aduku in this interview reiterates that it is good to start saving for retirement from a young age. Excerpt:
By Rosemary Onuoha
THE typical mindset of young people to pensions is that it is something older people worry about and as such they are not concerned about it. What are your thoughts on this?
It is best to start saving for retirement when one is young. With moderate contributions set aside monthly, one can save for retirement and avoid carrying a heavy financial burden in old age. Young people have an excellent opportunity to start building up their retirement fund from their youth rather than carry the burden in their old age.
In your opinion, to what extent have Nigerian professionals embraced the contributory pension system?
As a result of the statutory nature of the contributory pension scheme; i.e., CPS, compliance has generally been good among blue chip employers where many professionals work.
In addition to this, there is very good compliance by professional services firms across the country, and in the federal public service. Some States are also at different levels of implementation and have therefore embraced the scheme.
What is your advice to Nigerians that are skeptical about the security of the funds in their pension accounts and if they will be able to access the funds at the right time?
With regards to safety of pension contributions, there are numerous well-functioning safeguards and protections embedded in the enabling legislation, as well as regulations issued by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), to ensure the safety of pension contributions.
For example, there is a clear separation of roles between pension fund administrators (PFAs) and pension fund custodians (PFCs), which means custody of the funds is separate from management. Of note, since inception of the contributory pension scheme over 12 years ago, there has been no single instance of fraud or inability to meet obligations to contributors.
Tell us about AXA Mansard Pensions Limited.
AXA Mansard Pensions Limited was incorporated in 2006 as Penman Pensions Limited. In the last quarter of 2014, AXA Mansard Insurance plc (formerly known as Mansard Insurance plc), acquired a majority interest in Penman Pensions, thereby becoming the majority shareholder with a view to repositioning and transforming the company. Following the acquisition, the company was renamed AXA Mansard Pensions Limited. AXA Mansard Pensions is licensed to operate as a Pension Fund Administrator to both private and public sector employees.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is set to open the RSA transfer window, what will be the implication of this?
I believe both the pensions industry and customers will be better for it. Service will be taken to the next level with PFAs vying to ensure they retain their customers.