The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the release of the sum of N1.16bn for the payment of Accrued Pension Rights to 368 public service retirees.
A statement by the Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Mrs. Adetokunbo Eko, stated that the Director-General LASPEC, Babalola Obilana, disclosed this while giving update on payments of Pension for the month of May 2020, in his office at the Central Business District Alausa Ikeja.
He appreciated Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his commitment to ensuring that retirees get paid their terminal entitlements as and when due.
According to the Director-General to ensure the safety of all beneficiaries, inview of the Covid-19 Pandemics. All Bond Certificates for the month of May have been released to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) who will invite beneficiaries in their ten’s for the exit meeting and grant access to their Redemption Savings Account (RSA) for the computation of their Lump Sum and monthly Pension.
He assured retirees that he will sustain and improve on the accomplishments of his predecessor, Obilana implored retirees that are yet to collect their Bond Certificates that they would soon be paid, as payments are being structured based on date of exit and also grade level. They are neither forsaken nor forgotten.
Speaking further, he advised Retirees to be careful how they invest their money, so that they can live a stress free life in old age.
The Director-General urged the retirees to scan and send all their documents to the agency through the e-mail address; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries, retirees can also check their Retirement Bond Certificates readiness at LASPEC portal which is,laspecportal.com.ng.
PenCom Makes Data Recapture Exercise Condition To Process RSA Transfer Request
The National Pension Commission said the completion of the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) is a prerequisite for processing any Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1st of July 2019.
“The National Pension Commission (the Commission) introduced the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) in August 2019 in order to obtain complete, accurate and current data of all RSA holders (both active and retired), the commission stated.
The statement added that “Accordingly, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) were directed by the Commission to obtain the relevant information required for the DRE from RSA holders and the process is on going. One of the information required for the exercise is the National Identity Number (NIN).
“The Commission is desirous to ensure that all RSA holders are able to exercise their rights of transferring their RSAs trom one PFA to another, in anticipation of the formal launch of the RSA Transfer System during the last quarter of 2020.
“The Commission therefore wishes to notify all RSA holders that the completion of the DRE is a prerequisite for processing any RSA transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1 July 2019.”
PenCom explained to fast track the DRE, it approved a proposal of the Pension Operators’ Association of Nigeria (PenOp) for an industry Shared Service Initiative (SSI).
“Consequently, PenOp has engaged agents to conduct the DRE on behalf of all PFAs. This arrangement will enhance efficiency in carrying out the exercise as it would allow an agent to recapture all RSA holders in the same organization on behalf of all PFAs. In partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the selected agents will have the ability to carry out NIN registrations seamlessly.
“The Commission hereby appeals to all active RSA holders and retirees to cooperate with the agents that would be visiting their organisations to carry out the DRE. Meanwhile, the Commission remains committed to providing necessary support to the pension industry to ensure the success of the DRE,” it noted.
Senate Confirms Dahir-Umar DG PenCom, Four Board Members
The Senate confirmed the appointment of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as the substantive Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Tuesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had penultimate week, sent the name of Dahir -Umar to the Senate, seeking the lawmakers ’ confirmation for her to be the substantive DG and others , to the board of the agency.
The lawmakers also confirmed Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni, from North Central as the Chairman of the commission.
Also confirmed were Clement Akintola (South -West); Ayim Nyerere ( South – East) and Charles Emukowhale (South – South), as commissioners of the PenCom board.
However, the Senate refused to confirm the appointment of Hannatu Musa (North -West) because she was unable to present her discharge certificate from the National Youths Service Corps.
Until her confirmation, Dahir-Umar , from the North -East geopolitical zone , held the position in acting capacity .
Lack Of PenCom Board Stalls N14,400 Minimum Pension Payment
Five years after the pension operators and the National Pension Commission drafted guidelines to commence N 14 , 400 minimum pensions for retirees , the payment is yet to begin.
A source at PenCom said the minimum pension could not commence because the commission had no board in the past five years.
Operators had recommended 80 per cent of minimum wage to be paid to retirees , following complaints of ridiculously low stipends paid to retirees with low balances in their Retirement Savings Account .
The PenCom source said, “ The guidelines are yet to be approved . So, we still cannot say this is the amount because we are going to make contributions before it is approved .
“ What was proposed then was 80 per cent of minimum wage at that time , which was N 14 , 400 .”
“ We did not have a board and that was why we could not progress with it , but now that we are expecting to have a board , we hope it would be reviewed because it is the responsibility of the board to approve it . ”
According to the source, with a new board , the commission may review the minimum pensions based on what the current minimum wage is .
It would be recalled that PenCom ’s board was sacked in 2015 , after which the executives were dissolved in 2017 .
At a retreat organised by the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria for the National Assembly Joint Committees for Establishment and Public Service of the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Pensions in December, the operators urged the Federal Government to constitute PenCom board .
They expressed worry that the sector , which had continued to record the fastest growing assets in the financial system , had been left without a board .
As of June 2020 , total pension funds stood at N 11 .05 tn .
The Pension Reform Act 2014 provided that PenCom should establish and maintain a fund to be known as the Pension Protection Fund in respect of the guarantee minimum pension.
According to the Act , funding of the minimum guaranteed pension would be partly obtained from an annual subvention of one per cent of the total monthly wage bill payable to employees in the public service of the federation and returns from pension fund investments .
It would also be funded from the annual pension protection levy paid by PenCom and all licensed pension operators at a rate to be determined by the commission from time to time .
The draft guideline , which was awaiting approval stated that informal sector workers and casual workers must have contributed for 120 and 135 months respectively before they could enjoy this privilege .
This initiative, according to the operators , will bring an end to situations were retirees are paid abysmally low pensions or when the balance in their RSA were awfully small, which made them un -pensionable .