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.