By Victor Ahiuma-Young
BARELY seven years after the amendment of Pension Reform Act, PRA, of 2004 in 2014, the National Pension Commission, PenCom, announced plans to review the PRA 2014 to address some implementation challenges encountered with certain sections of the Act.
Consequently, PenCom has organised a retreat aimed at identifying salient issues to be reviewed towards advancing legislative action on the Bill.
Recall that Pension Reform Act, PRA, first came into being in 2004 under President Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Act was reviewed in 2014 during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The retreat was held between January 12 and 14, in Abuja.
A statement by the commission noted that it is expected that the National Assembly would subsequently organise a public hearing to provide an avenue for stakeholders to formally make input into the proposed amendments.
According to PenCom: “The PRA 2014 was enacted following a review of the initial Pension Reform Act of 2004, which introduced legal and institutional frameworks of the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, and established PenCom to regulate and supervise all pension matters in Nigeria.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, informed the participants that the PRA 2014 codified one of the most important socio-economic reform initiatives of the Federal Government, leading to a pension industry that had accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion invested in various aspects of the Nigerian economy.
She noted that “the review is a corollary to some implementation challenges encountered with certain sections of the Act not long after its enactment in July 2014. This is in addition to persistent calls from stakeholders for the amendment of some sections of the Act, which resulted in several legislative initiatives through the sponsorship of Bills for amendment of the PRA 2014 by the National Assembly.
“Consequently, the Commission, as the regulator of the Pension industry, decided to coordinate and harmonise the various efforts in order to achieve a more comprehensive and constructive exercise for the review of the PRA 2014.