December 20, 2021

Sigma Pensions committed to meeting customer expectation


By Rosemary Iwunze

Sigma Pensions Limited says it is committed to meeting its customer’s expectation and remains wholly guided by the law governing pension administrations in Nigeria.

The Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) is reacting to the judgment at the National Industrial Court granting retirees’ access to 50 percent lump sum of their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) balance at retirement.

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The latest court ruling in the case of Rakiya Bakari Girei Vs. Sigma Pensions Limited, National Pension Commission and Attorney General of the Federation, comes in the wake of a similar case in which PenCom and another PFA have secured a stay of execution of the judgement and are currently appealing the decision of the court.

Sigma Pensions has stated that as a responsible organisation, respectful of regulatory authority and rule of law, it will await the outcome of these proceedings and act accordingly in due course.      

The company stated: “Following the recent judgement by the National Industrial Court on the interpretation of the application of the lump sum payment to retirees, Sigma Pensions maintains a position of strict adherence to the law and laid down principles governing the industry.

“Nigeria’s Pension Industry is governed by the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, a repeal of the old PRA 2004. The 2014 Act, which is silent on a percentage which a retiree may receive as lumpsum, establishes the regulator of the industry, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and grants same a mandate to among many others, “issue guidelines, rules and regulations for the investment and administration of pension funds. Pursuant to this mandate, PenCom on a regular basis issues directives and guidelines to govern the activities of Pension Fund Operators (PFOs) and PFOs are to strictly adhere to these guidelines.

“In line with this mandate, PenCom has provided Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) with a Programmed Withdrawal Template (PWT), a benefits computation tool. This template is used by PFAs to calculate and arrive at the amount, which a retiree may receive as lump sum and as programmed withdrawal over the course of their life, (except for annuity purchase). The PWT considers several specific parameters in determining the retirement payment package.’’