Pension Funds no Longer Diverted to Private Pockets—PenCom DG

February 26, 2024
Pension Funds

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Ms Aisha Dahir-Umar, has assured workers and pensioners in the country that their funds are in safe hands, noting that they are not being diverted like in the past.

Ms Dahir-Umar, while speaking recently at the 2024 congress of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Abuja, stated that the N18 trillion pension assets are being invested mainly in low-risk assets.

The DG, who was represented at the event by the agency’s Head of Corporate Communication, Mr Ibrahim Buwai, emphasised that returns from such investments are automatically distributed back to the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder after the allowable charges for the management and distribution of the pension funds.

She said persons under the scheme have nothing to fear about as the era of pension funds being diverted to private pockets was now a thing of the past.

“Nobody takes a penny, not PFAs (Pension Fund Administrators), not PenCom, nobody.

“All this money recovered was for RSA holders and it goes into RSA.

“What you can help us by way of employers is that it is not in their interests not to remit because it is cheaper to remit than not to remit,” the PenCom chief stated.

Ms Dahir-Umar averred that as a regulator, the primary responsibility of PenCom is to ensure that funds are safe, efficient, and effectively managed and that they are available to be paid as retirement benefits as and when due.

She also disclosed that the commission has recovered about N45.45 billion in unremitted contributions and penalties from employers between 2012 and 2023, revealing that N12.9 billion was recovered from the principal contributions and N12.5 billion from penalties.

The DG used the occasion to applaud FICAN for its reportage about the organisation and the industry, calling for more public enlightenment campaigns for those in the informal sector to embrace the scheme.

“Despite the challenges we face, we would still see how best we can deepen the partnership. I want to assure you that we are always available, if you have a mix-up or need clarification, let us know, it’s our primary duty to offer needed information,” she said.

“There is still a long way to go, but what we can do on our part is just to continue to enlighten people, to show them that the micro pension plan acknowledges their rate of participation,” she said, adding that “since the micro pension started, there are about 100,000 RSAs that have been opened and the contribution is just over N500 million.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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