N2.7 Trillion Paid To 1.27 Million Retirees, As Pension Fund Assets Hits N17 Trillion

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that a total of 1.27 million retirees have benefited from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), getting N2.72 trillion in pension benefits since its inception.
Speaking at the 2023 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) media parley in Lagos with the theme, ‘At the dawn of 20-year Pension Reforms, What are the gains?”
Ehimeme Ohioma, Head of Surveillance Department PenCom, noted there was a need to commend the pension industry for the success recorded so far in the CPS
Ohioma, who proudly disclosed that the pension fund assets have risen to N17.64 trillion as of October 2023 said that retirees under CPS are enjoying themselves compared to those under the old defined benefit scheme.
According to him, 1,183 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders have so far accessed N13 billion as pension mortgage finance and 17,376 retirement savings account holders have transferred N356 billion from one Pension Fund Administrator to another under the RSA transfer system.
He pointed out that N12 billion contributions from employees of defunct organisations, especially banks, are unremitted to their owners, who are unknown to PenCom and PFAs, stressing that PenCom had advertised for workers in such defunct organisations to come forward with evidence to enable the PFAs transfer the funds to their RSAs
According to him, only N58 million of the fund has been accessed, even as he called on those concerned to check for their names on the list published on PenCom’s website.
Ehimeme maintained that PenCom is currently putting the finishing touches on foreign currency-denominated investment guidelines that would enable PFAs to earn real return on investment.
Earlier in his speech, the President of PenOp Olumide Oyetan, commended the commission for its support over the years and for setting up a framework to ensure operators play by the rules.
According to him, CPS remains one of the greatest national policies from democracy, stating that before the commencement of the CPS, retirees were subjected to old age poverty as they were unable to get their pension at retirement.
Oyetan, who doubles as the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, pointed out that the CPS is unique due to the safe valves, checks, and balances ensured by the tripod structure, which are the regulator, PFAs and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs).
He called on the government and public to sustain their faith in the CPS which for the past 19 years has continued to thrive without any incident of fraud.
He said pension operators would continue to innovate and comply with stipulated rules in offering quality services to contributors and retirees.
Oguche Agudah, Chief Executive Officer, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, said the event was organised to keep journalists abreast of strides recorded so far in the pension industry and to also interact with them on how to improve service delivery in the sector.
He noted that the industry in 2024 would experience great transformations going by innovations being worked on by PenCom and operators.