August 21, 2023

PenCom, stakeholders to establish pension academy 

PenCom, stakeholders to establish pension academy 

CONFERENCE: Sitted from left: Mr. Sola Adeseun, Head, South-West Zonal Office, PenCom; Mr. Oguche Agudah, CEO, PenOp; Lawan President, Mr. Abdulqadir Dahiru,; Head, Corporate Communications Department, PenCom, Mr. Ikenna Chidi-Ebere; Head, Consumer Protection Department, PenCom, Olajumoke Akinwa, PenOp and others during the 2023 PenCom’s Journalists Conference in Lagos.

By Victor Ahiuma-Young 

As pat of its efforts at building capacity in the Pension Industry, the National Pension Commission, PenCom and Pension Operators, PenOp, alongside other stakeholders are planning to establish a Pension Academy.

It was gathered that the academy will kick-off in 2024.

PenCom’s Head of Corporate Communication, Abdulkadir Dahiru, gave the hint at a function in Lagos.

He informed that PenCom “plans for the establishment of a Pension Academy for continuous human capacity building and development in the industry. PenCom is working with PenOp to establish Pension Academy to deal with issues of capacity in the pensions industry.

“There is a committee working on it. The committee is seriously working on it and it has drawn up the curriculum.”

Earlier, he explained that “Section 24 of the Pension Reform Act, PRA, 2014 empowers the Commission to formulate, direct and oversee the overall policy on pension matters in Nigeria, Establish standards, rules and regulations for the management of the pension funds under the Act.”

It also empowers the “Commission to request or call for information from any employer or pension fund administrator or custodian or any other person or institution on matters relating to retirement benefit.

“PenCom is equally empowered to charge and collect such fees, levy or penalties, as may be specified by the Commission.”

  According to Dahiru, the Section equally gave the Commission to “Investigate any pension fund administrator, custodian or other party involved in the management of pension funds, impose administrative sanctions or fines on erring employers or pension fund administrators or custodians.

“It also allows the Commission to do such other things which in its opinion are necessary to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission under the Act.”

Continuing, he said “The Commission carries out its supervisory activities as stipulated under Section 23 of the PRA 2014, by approving, licensing, regulating and supervising pension fund administrators, custodians.”

PenCom also carries its supervisory duties by establishing standards, rules and guidelines for the management of the pension funds under the Act, effective on-site and off-site supervision. 

  The commission also does its supervision by “ensuring high level of compliance and corporate governance culture, carrying out public awareness and education on the establishment and management of the Scheme.

PenCom supervises the industry by “promoting capacity building and institutional strengthening of pension fund administrators and custodians, promoting and offering technical assistance in the application of contributory pension scheme by the States and Local Government Councils.”

In its supervision, the commission receives and investigates “complaints of impropriety leveled against any pension fund administrator, custodian or employer or any of their staff or agents; Performs “such other duties which, in the opinion of the Commission, are necessary or expedient for the discharge of it.”

The head of the Commission’s Corporate Communications explained that the Pension Industry is faced with several challenges in the industry because “Service culture is still evolving, non-functional Call Centres, inadequate spread of Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs,!branches/service centres and infrastructure, Incomplete customer information/records, high staff attrition rate inadequate sensitization/public enlightenment programmes, external exigencies/dependencies of the pension industry e.g employers, financial ecosystem and other service providers/vendors.

Dahiru noted that in addressing the service challenges in the industry, the  Commission increased the “Minimum Regulatory Capital of PFAs to N5 billion in 2022, introduction of the Retirement Saving Accounts, RSA, Transfer Window to promote choices by RSA holders and healthy competition amongst PFAs.

The Commission equally created “the Consumer Protection Department to promptly and adequately address service issues as well as promote service excellence in the industry.

“The Commission ensures strict enforcement of the Guidelines on Operations of Branches & Service Centres and Circular on Service Delivery by PFAs.”