NIGERIA: Pension Fund Now N3.3tn

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As the National Assembly fine tunes the process of passing the Pension Reform Bill, the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has put the current Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) at N3.3 trillion.

The commission has also forwarded a 21-point recommendation to a joint committee of the National Assembly where it submitted that the minimum paid up capital for Pension Fund Custodians (PFC) should be N25 billion.

It also added that applicants for PFC licence must be limited liability companies incorporated by financial institutions and its
sole duty must be keeping custody of pension and retirement benefits and assets.

The commission, which also suggested that the minimum paid up capital might be subject to review from time to time by the commission, added that besides the financial institution having a minimum net worth of N25 billion, it must also possess annual fidelity insurance cover for the full value of the pension and retirement benefits funds and assets in its custody.

There may also be upward review of the minimum monthly pension contributions by employee from the current 15 per cent to 29 per cent as the commission and other stakeholders in the sector insisted that the current contribution of 15 per cent was no longer adequate to generate the retirement benefits in the land.

The acting Director General of the Commission, Mrs Chinaelo Anohu-Amazu, in a presentation at a public hearing on the Pension Reform Act last week, said the regulatory body on pension management would up the ante of its oversight function on the pension administrators with a view to sanitising the scheme.

Anohu-Amazu told the gathering that the commission had uncovered a number of ghost retirees in the data, leading to "endless verification of the pension records."

She disclosed that some highly placed pension administrators and other agents had been falsifying pension records in their deliberate attempts to loot the funds and frustrate the reform scheme.

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