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October 3, 2023

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the state of pension funds and to recover the N10 trillion loaned to the Federal Government.

The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion sponsored by Rep. Aliyu Misau (PDP-Bauchi State) at the plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion earlier, Misau said that the Retirement Saving Accounts (RSAs) are the lifelines that pensioners rely upon to cater for their needs upon retirement.

He said that most pensioners are unable to access their retirement funds in spite of complying with the requirements of the contributory pension scheme.

According to him, neither the National Pension Commission (PenCom) nor the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have been able to reassure prompt payment of entitlements.

“Aware that the pension fund assets which PenCom regulates, being the proceeds of the contributory pension scheme and returns on investment, stood at more than N15.5 trillion at the close of the first quarter of 2023,

“There is no justification for retirees not to have access to their RSA; worried that critical stakeholders have expressed concern that 65 per cent of the funds which amount to N10 trillion, loaned to the Federal Government is an investment which exposes the contributors to unnecessary volatility as the Federal Government may fail to pay back the loan in due time.

“Being unable to access their pension has caused untold hardship to the retirees as they are unable to afford even basic necessities,” he said.

The house urged PenCom to ensure immediate release of funds for the payment of pension funds to all retirees in the country.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, mandated the Committee on Pension to investigate the status of the pension fund assets of over N15.5 trillion.

He said that the aim is to ensure that the N10 trillion loaned to the Federal Government from pension funds is duly recovered and modalities are put in place to hinder a collapse of the scheme.

He mandated the committee to also scrutinise the failure of PFAs in fulfilling its obligations to retirees regarding access to their retirement savings.