By Favour Nnabugwu
THE National Pension Commission, PenCom, said it has commenced moves to roll out micro-pension in November, 2018.
Acting Director General of PENCOM, Aisha Dahir-Umar, who disclosed this in an interview with Financial Vanguard in Abuja, said, “Micro-pension is undergoing final in-house cleaning and we expect to roll it out by November all things being equal.”
Detailing what has happened so far in the scheme’s development she stated: “The draft framework for Micro-pension and its guidelines have been developed. We have exposed them to all stakeholders and we have gotten their inputs.”
The scheme is expected to help boost number of pension contributors to 20 million by 2019 and 30 million by 2024.
Dahir-Umar explained that, ”Micro pension is a scheme targeted at self-employed people, especially those with irregular income, usually in the informal sector and are largely financially uninformed with limited or no access to financial services especially pension plan. This segment, which is estimated to be 70 per cent of the country’s population, largely exists in Nigeria as artisans and self-employed persons.”
Section 2(3) of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 (PRA 2014), provides that employees of organizations with less than three employees as well as the self-employed persons shall be entitled to participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme in accordance with guidelines issued by the Commission.
These categories of persons mainly in the informal sector constitute the vast majority of the working population in Nigeria and are not covered by any retirement benefit scheme. Accordingly, the Commission considers it necessary to develop the Guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of section 2(3) through a “Micro Pension Plan”.