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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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E-News

PenCom Approves Full Payment To 2,024 Retirees, 25% To 7,906 Disengaged Workers

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) approved Enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 2,024 retirees whose Retirement Savings Account (RSA) balances were N550,000.00 or below and considered insufficient to procure Programmed Withdrawal or Retiree Life Annuity of a reasonable amount for an expected life span.
In this regard, a total sum of N527.23 million was paid to the 2,024 retirees from both the public and private sectors during the second quarter of the year.
The nation’s pension regulator disclosed this in its latest quarterly report issued recently.
This is in keeping faith with the objectives of the Pension Reform Act 2014 to ensure that every person who worked in either the Public Service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory or Private Sector receives his retirement benefits as and when due.
In a related development, the Commission also approved the payment of N4,430.37 million to 7,906 RSA holders under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months.
This is in accordance with section 7(2) of the Pension Act, which provides that “Where an employee voluntarily retires, disengages or is disengaged from employment as provided for under Section 16(2) and (5) of this Act, the employee may, with the approval of the Commission, withdraw an amount of money not exceeding 25 per cent of the total amount credited to his retirement savings account, provided that such withdrawals shall only be made after four months of such retirement or cessation of employment and the employee does not secure another employment.”

Meanwhile, the Commission also informed that applications were received for transfer of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) contributions on behalf of 332 NSITF contributors.
However, approval was granted to transfer N17,026,367.10 to the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 298 members.
On a similar note, PenCom approved monthly pensions in the sum of N62,327,832.97 to 3,629 NSITF pensioners.

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Insurance

4,438 Retirees Choose Programmed Withdrawal, 1,708 Opt For Annuity In Second Quarter

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) approved 4,438 requests, comprising 1,406 public (FGN & States) and 3,032 private sector retirees to draw pension through the Programmed Withdrawal mode during the second quarter.
These retirees received a total lump sum of N13,059.79 million, while their total monthly pension amounted to N209.05 million.
PenCom disclosed this in the second quarter report uploaded on the commission’s website recently.
Similarly, the Commission granted approval to 1,708 retirees under the Retiree Life Annuity during the quarter.
A total lump sum of N4,586.16 million was approved for payment to the retirees, while the sum of N12,346.89 million was approved for payment to 14 Retiree Life Annuity Providers as premium in return for total monthly/quarterly annuities of N122.46 million.
In a related development, approvals were granted for payment of death benefits amounting to N6,175.13 million to the legal beneficiaries/administrator of 1,209 deceased employees and retirees. This comprised 835 public (FGN & State) and 374 private-sector employees/retirees.
During the quarter under review, the Commission equally approved enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 2,024 retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000.00 or below and considered insufficient to procure Programmed Withdrawal or Retiree Life Annuity of a reasonable amount for an expected life span. In this regard, a total sum of N527.23 million was paid to the 2,024 retirees from both the public and private sectors.
Besides, the Commission approved the payment of N4,430.37 million to 7,906 RSA holders under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months.

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Business

PenCom Moves To Diversify Pension Funds Portfolios, Reduce FG’s Pension Liabilities

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has promised to focus efforts on facilitating increased diversification of Pension Fund portfolios, as well as aggressively pursue efforts aimed at reducing pension liabilities of the Federal Government.
PenCom’s Director General, Mrs. Aisha Dahir Umar, stated this in her report contained in the 2020 annual report of the commission made available today.
She also assured that the commission would seek to expand coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme in States, Local Governments and the informal sector; while also enhancing public awareness campaign efforts, and striving to improve service delivery in the industry.
Going forward, the PenCom boss pointed out that the commission would re-evaluate the milestones of the past years and consolidate its efforts to build a future-ready and resilient work environment underpinned by various initiatives.
She emphasised that PenCom’s focus shall be on a five-prong strategic approach that steadily pursues and addresses identified gaps while creating a more agile organisation with a culture that supports innovation and continuous improvement.
Meanwhile, the annual report indicated that the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) generated total earnings of N109.68billion in 2020, representing an increase of 3% when compared with the N106.70billion recorded in 2019.
The combined operating expenses incurred by the PFAs amounted to N55.20billion, while profits before taxes amounted to N54.48billion.
The major source of income for the PFAs was fund management fees, which accounted for over 80% of total Income.
The PFAs recorded a combined Return on Assets of 30.07% and a combined Return on Equity of 35.19%. This indicated that the PFAs sustained their profitability in the year under review.
The six CPFAs generated a total revenue (income and transfers from Sponsors) of N2.68billion, which was a 7.58% decrease compared to the N2.90bllion generated in 2019.
The major source of revenue for the CPFAs were inflows from their sponsor companies, which constituted 55% of their total revenue, while management fees and investment income accounted for 41% and 4%, respectively.
The CPFAs incurred a total expenditure of N2.74billion and a combined profit of N52.38million in 2020. Operating expenses comprised mainly of staff costs, which accounted for over 69% of operating expenses.
The PFCs generated a combined income of N24.09billion, representing a 2.75% decrease when compared with the N24.77billion generated in 2019.
The major source of income for the PFCs was custodial fees, which constituted 80% of their total income, while investment income and other income accounted for about 20% of PFCs total income.
The PFCs incurred total operating expenses of N7.73billion and a combined profit of N16.36billion in 2020. This indicated a 12.61% decline in the PFCs’ profitability when compared to the N18.72 billion recorded in 2019.

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