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Jigawa Releases N1.1b Pension Benefits To 570 Beneficiaries

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The Jigawa State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme Board on Wednesday commenced the payment of 570 retired workers amounting to N1.1 billion.

This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Hashim Ahmad Fagam while speaking to newsmen shortly after flagging-up the disbursement.

He said that the screening and payment process would be in accordance with the president policy of the social distancing directive to prevent COVID-19 spread.

The executive secretary explained that the retirees were grouped, with each groups having five persons to avoid crowd during the payment period.

According to him “the benefit would be paid as terminal benefit, death benefit and death pension balance to 570 beneficiaries”.

Alhaji Ahmed Hashim added that the payment covered 227 retired​ staff of state, 86 staff of local governments, as well as 257 staff Local Education Authorities (LEAs).

He maintained that the board was up-to-date in the payment of entitlements to retirees, including those who died in active service, adding that “the board and the state government will continue to ensure the welfare of its workers for better service delivery and well-being of retirees​ after service”.

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Pension

Over 2,100 Dissatisfied Pension Contributors Move To Change PFAs

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By Sola Alabadan

 

Within a period of 15 days, more than 2,100 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders who are dissatisfied with the services being rendered by their Pension Fund Administrators  (PFAs) have indicated their intention to move their accounts from their PFAs to another one, following the launch of the pension transfer window by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

The Head, ICT, PenCom, Mr. Polycarp Anyanwu, who disclosed this during a virtual 2020 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) Media Retreat for journalists yesterday, said over 2,100 applications were submitted and received by the commission between November 16 and 30.

The transfer window, known as Retirement Savings Account Transfer System (RTS), was launched by PenCom on November 16 in Abuja, in accordance with Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act, 2014, which allows aggrieved contributors to move their RSA through a transfer window from one PFA to another. Polycarp noted that most of the pension contributors seeking a switch to new PFAs were those not contented with the service delivery of their current pension fund handlers, a development, he said, would, no doubt, enhance quality service delivery of the PFAs to their clients. Explaining how the window operates, he said the RTS had four quarters in a year, which are March 31, June 30, September 31, and December 31, in which contributors can change their PFAs once in a year. He added that the over 2,100 applications received so far, would be processed for the December 31 window.

A month to the above mentioned dates, he said the concerned pension fund operators must have submitted necessary documentation to the regulatory body, informing it of the amount leaving their kitty and the RSA holders concerned, so as to give ample time for PenCom, the affected PFAs and the receiving PFAs to plan ahead. On the part of the contributors, he said majorly, fingerprint, which serves as their consent, was a unique criteria to switch PFAs.

Although he expects some pension fund operators to be on the losing end and some proactive ones winning the disgruntled contributors, he stressed that the overall benefits was to instill healthy competition among operators, which will, in return, lead to better service delivery and improved investment returns on pension assets.
Similarly, the Head, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, said the activation of the RSA transfer process would engender competition and improve service delivery in the pension industry, while asserting the right of RSA holders to determine which PFA manages their pension contributions and retirement benefits.

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Pension

RSA Transfer: PenOp Charges Pension Operators To Maintain High Ethical Standards

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By Sola Alabadan

Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has charged its members to maintain high standards of ethics in the conduct of their business, especially as it is possible for holders of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) to transfer their RSA from one PFA to another.

The Governing Council of PenOp also hailed the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for eventually opening the RSA transfer window, saying it is a welcome development.

PenOp’s Media, Communications & Branding Officer, Ukemeobong Akanam, stated that the council believes this development will accelerate the journey towards greater self-regulation in Nigeria’s pension industry. The council also commended President Buhari for the constitution of the PenCom board.

The Governing Council meeting which was held virtually for the first time, had in attendance all the Trustees and Executives of the association. The meeting was directed by the Chairman of the council of PenOp – Professor Fabian Ajogwu.

The other attendees were Ms. Daisy Ekineh, the former acting Director-General of the Security Exchange Commissionand CEO of DSE advisory Limited, Muhammad Ahmad; Pioneer Director-General of the National Pension Commission and current chairman of Polaris Bank, Alhaji Bello Maccido; Chairman of FBN Quest Merchant Bank Limited and six Executive Council members comprising of Wale Odutola; President, Akeeb Akinola, Vice President, Oguche Agudah, CEO PenOP, Amaka Andy-Azike, Head of Branding & Communications Committee, Glory Etaduovie, Head, Legal And Regulatory, Eric Fajemisin, Head, Technical Committee and Bayo Yusuf, Treasurer.

The Governing Council of PenOp provides advice and guidance to the Executive Committee in the running of the affairs of the association.

PenOp is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry, provide for self-regulation and ensure that international best practices relating to the industry are observed by the operators registered in Nigeria.

It is the umbrella association for all the Licensed Pension Fund Custodians, Pension Fund Administrators and Closed Pension Fund Administrators (PFCs, PFAs and CPFAs) operating in Nigeria.

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Kwara Set To Stop Ex-Governors’ Pensions

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Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has said he will initiate measure to repeal the law that awards pension to all former governors and their deputies that have served in the state.
Abdulrazaq disclosed this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Friday.
The governor said he would Initiate a bill to the State House of Assembly that passed the law that former governors and their deputies be paid pension to repeal the law.
The Kwara State House of Assembly in 2011 passed a bill to pay pensions to governors and their deputies who have completed their tenure in the state.
Among the past governors of the state are the late Mohammed Lawal, Bukola Saraki, and Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The statement read in part, “Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will next week send a bill to the State House of Assembly requesting the lawmakers to immediately repeal the law awarding pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors.
“The Governor has listened to voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governours and deputy governors. In line with his campaign mantra and as a product of democracy himself, he will be sending a bill to the House of Assembly next week requesting them to repeal the law.
“As representatives of the people, the lawmakers would exercise their discretion to call a public hearing on the topic to further harvest wider opinions on the topic.
“However, the Governor feels it is time for the law as it is to give way. He would rather commit scarce public funds to tackle the question of poverty and youth unemployment.”

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