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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

Lagos Pays N1.49bn To 366 Retirees

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By Sola Alabadan

The Director-General (DG), Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), Babalola Obilana presented bond certificates to the tune of N1. 49 billion to 366 pensioners in Lagos recently.

Obilana reassured that the government is  committed to the speedy resolution of all pension issues in the State and pledged to ensure the prompt payment of pensioners’ entitlements.

LASPEC’s Public Affairs Officer, Mrs. Mariam Adetokunbo Eko, quoted Obilana as saying that LASPEC is fully committed to ensuring that retirees receive their terminal benefits as at when due.

He said that LASPEC was established to take care of the needs of retirees, a role the Commission has been performing diligently and will continue to devote itself to. He went on to say that “we are dedicated to the retirees’ welfare because we know that they have worked so hard for the progress of the State. Now is the time for them to reap the benefit.”

While expressing gratitude to the retirees for always cooperating with the Agency and adhering to laid down rules, the DG explained that this has resulted in a greater percentage reduction in delay of the payment of their entitlements.

“We could have sent these Bond Certificates to everyone at home, but we deemed it proper for everyone to be here so that we can reiterate that LASPEC is open to all for questions. It gives us great joy that there has been a big reduction in reports of retirees being swindled of their entitlements”, he noted.

“This is because the retirees are now better enlightened as a result of our constant advocacy as well as open door policy at LASPEC”, he added.

Obilana urged the retirees to be wary of swindlers and crooks who are out to con them of their hard earned money, saying “LASPEC will not call or send you messages to charge you to get your entitlements. It is not in our mandate to do that.”

Speaking further, the LASPEC boss expressed gratitude to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his swift response to pension matters, just as he emphasised the Governor’s unalloyed commitment to retirees’ welfare.

Obilana said that the government is presently working on a template that will ensure that retirees don’t have to wait longer to get their entitlements.

He disclosed that in order to improve on the current system, the Governor is currently working on a model that will ensure that retirees get their entitlements as soon as they disengage from service.

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Pension

Enugu Assembly Drops Ex-govs, Deputies’ Life Pensions

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Enugu State House of Assembly has dropped the proposed New Pension Bill for former governors and their deputies.
The bill, which scaled first reading during last week Thursday’s plenary soon generated condemnation from the general public.
If the bill is passed by the lawmakers, the state would be spending over N1.1bn annually on ex-governors and their deputies’ pensions while over N1.25bn would be used to purchase vehicles for the five former governors and their deputies.
However, the house during its Tuesday plenary stepped down the bill following a motion by the Leader of the House, Ikechukwu Ezugwu, who is the sponsor of the bill.
In his motion to step down the bill, Ezugwu said the bill though not out of place, needed to be stepped down following the outcry of the masses which they must listen to as their representatives in the House.
He said expressed the need to consult widely before the bill could be reintroduced if need be.
The motion was seconded by Onyinye Ugwu, the Deputy Leader of the House.
In his speech, the Speaker, Edward Ubosi, said there were a lot of provisions in the bill that were not constitutional which he pointed out to include the payment of salaries to spouses of former governors and their deputies.
This was subsequently stepped down for wider consultations.

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PTAD Postpones Resumption Of Pensioners’ Verification  

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The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has postponed the resumption of the walk-in verification exercise for pensioners under the defined benefit scheme (DBS), PTAD spokesperson, Olugbenga Ajayi, said.

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