Nigeria:PenCom facilitates N54.08bn pension fund transfer to Trustfund

PenComThe National Pension Commission says that it has facilitated the transfer of N54.08bn outstanding from the old pension scheme from the defunct Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund to Trustfund Pension Plc.

The commission said this in a report which was made available to our correspondent on Monday.

“In furtherance of the commission’s efforts to ensure the transfer of outstanding pension assets from the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund to Trustfund Pension Plc, N54.08bn had been transferred as at the end of the first quarter of 2012,” the report stated.

By the transfer, workers who had contributed to the NSITF under the old pension scheme will now be able to integrate their contributions under the old scheme with the present Contributory Pension Scheme.

Under the old pension scheme, the National Provident Fund was established by an Act of Parliament in 1961 to regulate private sector pension scheme in the country.

It pooled monthly contributions from the basic salaries of workers and the employers.

The NPF was later converted to a limited social insurance scheme in 1993 and administered by the NSITF.

Pensioners, however, were subjected to lots of hardship under the old pension scheme, as neither the Pension Act of 1979 nor the NSITF could guarantee regular payment of pension stipends to retirees.

In some instances, many old and fragile looking pensioners died while on queue to collect their pension stipends.

The old scheme was not well funded, a situation that led to mounting pension liabilities that made the scheme to become unsustainable. Besides, it was largely unregulated.

The setbacks of the scheme led to the repeal of the 1979 Act and subsequent amendment of the Nigerian Social Trust Fund Act of 1993.

The Pension Reform Act, 2004 was promulgated and it established a contributory pension scheme for the payment of retirement benefits of employees in both the public service of the federation and the private sector.

The Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dave Uduanu, described the CPS as a secure and reliable pension scheme.

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