May 18, 2023

Pension assets hit N15.58tn — PenCom

Pension fund

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The National Pension Commission, PenCom, has said the total pension assets is over N15.58 trillion.

Director-General of the Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos at a workshop the Commission organised for Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, LAWAN, with the theme, “Securing the Future: The Benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme to the Nigerian Workers.”

Represented by PenCom’s Head of Communications, Abdulquadri Dahiru, the Director-General informed that the N15.58 trillion figure was at March 31, 2023.

According to her “PenCom’s mission is to ensure Nigerian Workers receive their retirement benefits as and when due. The Commission’s meticulous regulation and supervision of the pension industry ensures that Pension Assets and CPS membership continue to grow. The value of Pension Assets stood at N15.58 trillion as of 31 March 2023, while CPS membership was 9.95 million. 

“Last year, PenCom launched a policy that allows Retirement Savings Account, RSA, holders to utilise a portion of their retirement savings as equity for residential mortgages. This policy marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide greater flexibility and access to pension funds for the benefit of RSA holders. It recognises that many individuals face challenges in securing adequate housing upon retirement and aims to address this issue by unlocking the value of their pension savings to facilitate homeownership.

“Under this new policy, RSA holders who have contributed to their accounts for at least five years and meet specific eligibility criteria can utilise up to 25 percent of their pension savings as equity contribution towards acquiring residential properties. This policy aligns with our commitment to ensuring that pension funds catalyse economic development and social well-being.

“It is pertinent to note an important aspect of the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, that benefits workers who lose their job. As an RSA holder, an employee can access 25 percent of their RSA balance to help cushion the effect of unforeseen job loss if they cannot secure another employment after four months. 

“It is essential to note that this partial withdrawal is not a replacement for retirement benefits but rather a means to offer immediate support during a difficult period. The remaining balance in the RSA continues to grow and accumulate until the RSA holder attain retirement age.

“PenCom is committed to protecting workers’ interests and ensuring employers pay pension contributions as and when due. In that regard, during the first quarter of 2023, N384.28 million, comprising contributions of N193.06 million and penalties of N191.22 million, was recovered from 34 defaulting employers. 

“Meanwhile, from the commencement of the recovery of pension contributions owed workers in June 2012 to 31 March 2023, the Commission has recovered N24.53 billion (contributions of N12.44 billion and penalties of N12.09 billion) from defaulting employers.”