October 4, 2023

Reps probe N15trn pension fund assets

foereign help to fight insecurity

By Gift ChapiOdekina

The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on pensions to investigate the status of pension fund assets amounting to over N15.5 trillion.

According to the House, the essence of the investigation is to ensure that the N10 trillion loaned to the federal government from the pension fund is recovered and modalities put in place to avoid a collapse of the pension scheme.

It also urged the National Pension Commission, PenCom, to ensure the immediate release of funds for the payment of pension funds to all retirees, and resolved to probe the failure of Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs, to fulfil their obligations to retirees.

The mandate of the House was sequel to a motion moved by Aliy Misau at plenary in Abuja yesterday.

According to Misau, the Retirement Saving Accounts, RSAs, are “the lifeline that pensioners rely upon to cater to their needs upon retirement.”

He, however, expressed concern that most pensioners were unable to access their retirement funds, despite complying with the requirements of the contributory pension scheme.

Misau noted that neither PenCom nor PFAs had been able to give assurances of prompt payment of their entitlements.

According to him, the inability of retirees to access their pension has subjected them to untold hardship, as they are now unable to afford basic necessities.

“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 as at the close of the first quarter of 2023.

“There is no justification for retirees not to have access to their RSA. Critical stakeholders have expressed concern that 65% of the pension funds (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,” Misau noted.