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Pension Fund Assets Now N14.27 Trillion, As Micro Pension Records 81,674 Participants

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By Sola Alabadan

The total pension contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme in Nigeria was N14.27 Trillion, as at June 30, 2022, the Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said in Lagos today.
The PenCom boss, who was represented by the Head, Corporate Communications Department, Dahiru Abdulkadir, stated this at a workshop organised by the commission for pension journalists. The theme of the workshop waz, “Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan”.

While micro pension has recorded 81,674 participants as at July 2022, she informed that the total number of registered contributors stood at 9,795,957 million as at June 30, 2022.

She pointed out that the theme of the workshop aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS.

The objective of introducing the micro pension plan, according to her, was to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the Informal Sector and those who are Self Employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP). “Therefore, it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the Plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed. There are three papers slated for presentation by the Commission today;” she said

She said the Commission is mindful of the critical role of Journalists in disseminating factual information to its stakeholders. “So, it is imperative to constantly interact and inform you of recent developments in the pension industry and some of the Commission’s significant activities.

“Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remain one of the significant areas of focus of the Commission. The MPP was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs. The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old. To create awareness of the Micro Pension Plan, the Commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, is currently championing an Industry Media Campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones,” she noted.

She stated that PenCom increased the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) from N1 billion to N5 billion last year, adding that recapitalization exercise had a 12-month transition from April 27 2021, to April 27 2022 and that as at the deadline, all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have complied with the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion.

“The reason for the recapitalization exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets under which I am pleased to inform you stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 Trillion, respectively, as at June 30, 2022. it is expected that the exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry,” she said.

Speaking on “The Administration of Retirement Benefits Under the Micro Pension Plan”,the Head, Benefits & Insurance Department, PenCom, Obiora Ibeziako, said where the fixed portion of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) balance cannot procure monthly pension/annuity up to one third of the prevailing national minimum wage, the contributor shall receive their benefits en bloc.

He added that the prevailing national minimum wage shall serve as the annual total emolument for the purpose of benefits computation where the contributor has no pay slip.

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Business

NAICOM Counsels Edo Government, Residents, To Embrace Insurance

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Karachi Anyanwu, National Insurance Commission (left); Rasaaq Salami, Head of Corporate Communications and Market Development, NAICOM; Bar. Osarodion Ogie, Secretary to Edo State Government; Adeyemi Abubakar, Assistant Director, NAICOM and, John Osagie, Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Services at the meeting between NAICOM and the Edo State Government in Benin City on Thursday.

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Elumelu Charges Insurance Brokers To Lead War Against Unethical Practices

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By Sola Alabadan

The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, has charged the Nigerian Council Of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) to lead the war against unethical practices, such as: premium rate cutting, delayed premium remittance, unremitted premium, overloading of premium, returned premium, fake documents, that have been the bane of the nation’s insurance industry for years.

Elumelu, who gave this charge during the 60th Anniversary celebration of NCRIB in Lagos on Thursday, listed other unethical practices to include:
fraudulent claims, collusion to defraud, mis-selling, unhealthy competition, misrepresentations, manipulation of policy conditions, self-enrichment methods disguised as marketing expenses, among others.

While the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) continues to play its role as the industry regulator, he said the NCRIB, as a body, must ensure that appropriate sanctions are imposed on any of its members found engaging in unethical practices.

He also advocated for the recapitalisation of the brokerage industry in our country, saying the minimum capital base should be increased to N50 million, noting that N5 million is not enough as capital base.

In the area of Governance, he said the industry need to enforce strict adherence to corporate governance by all NCRIB members, while weeding out non-registered and non-compliant members from its fold.

He said the non-registered brokers are the ones tarnishing the image of the broking profession and the industry at large.

Elumelu called on the insurance operators to create more awareness about insurance and showcase the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, most especially in the retail space.

Insurance brokers, he added, need to participate fully in this drive to bridge the insurance knowledge gap if the industry is desirous to make insurance attractive to Nigerians.

As the insurance brokers have been recognised as corporate insurance specialists, he stated that “It is high time the brokers community began to shift focus to retail because this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.”

While pointing out that innovation and disruptive practices cannot occur if the operators do not broaden their thinking, he said “Trying to make profits from existing lines is not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at the blue ocean opportunities.

“This is something I task the management of the insurance companies to constantly think of in product development and deployment.”

To remain relevant in the modern business arena, the insurance broker community and, by extension, the entire Nigerian insurance industry, must embrace technology fully, he further advised.

Besides, he said there is urgent need to develop the next generation of talent to serve the Nigerian insurance industry.

He emphasised that the broker community should rally and become the hub for the education and training of our youths to get qualified talent for the next phase of the industry, adding that “We need to raise the profile of our insurance professionals, make it attractive for the younger generation.”

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Leadway Graduate Trainee Programme Graduates 30 Young Professionals

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Leadway Assurance Company Limited has graduated 34 young professionals following their successful completion of the company’s 2022 Graduate Trainee Programme, and the successful trainees have been inducted into its diverse business portfolios.
The six-month programme equips young graduates with the relevant skill set required to thrive in the dynamic and ever-evolving workforce.
The training modules dealt with problem-solving, networking, technical and soft skills, workplace culture, digital proficiency for self-development, and professional capabilities preparing the trainees to serve in different departments across the diverse verticals of the business.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony recently, Managing Director of Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, stated that the Graduate Trainee programme aligns with the organisation’s corporate twin mandate of providing career opportunities and upskilling Nigeria’s growing young, vibrant and productive population. The programme also strengthens its workforce with the right talent pool for its ambitious growth objectives.
“Our people are the centre-point of our continued marketplace performance and at the core of the organisation’s value creation. So, it is pertinent that we house the best talents in the industry to drive our objectives within the frames of our values and in alignment with the company’s vision and leadership position in the African insurance marketplace.
The Leadway Graduate Trainee Programme is designed to achieve a sustained pool of the required elite skills and talents by initiating young, promising, dynamic, future-centric minds into a comprehensive upskilling process that tunes them towards actualising the mandate of advancing our esteemed ethos.
“We are optimistic that the skills, innovation, and creativity that this programme unleashes satisfy the expectations of our cultural, strategic and operational requirements. We are confident that the training and onboarding of these young professionals further validates our profile as a youth-oriented and future-forward organisation.
“I would like to congratulate and celebrate the 2022 Leadway Graduate Trainees. Their successful induction is a testament to the tenacity, hard work, and commitment deployed during the six-month rigorous tutelage”, he added.

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