Only 6. 6m Nigerians captured by PENCOM, says DG

PENCOMTHE National Pension Commission has revealed that as few as 6. 637 million people, representing 11percent Nigerian workers presently have retirement savings account with the commission, a figure she described as too insignificant for the country’s population of about 160 million.

The Director-General of PENCOM, Chinelo Ahuonu-Amazu stated this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of her meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The PENCOM boss however, assured that the commission is putting in place modalities that will accommodate state workers as well as those in the informal sector.

“The PenCom reforms has introduced the pension contributory scheme, the scorecard remains that we have 6.637 million retirement savings account holders today and what that has done is show us the opportunity for more people to get in because that is only about 11% of the working population and the scheme has also given the retirement savings account holder freedom to determine how his retirement benefit would be administered,’’ said Ahuonu-Amazu.

According to her, ‘’the challenges are largely to deal with compliance, we need a lot more people on the scheme and the President has directed that we work with the Vice-President so that we can get the National Executive Council (NEC) to work with us to ensure that all the states are in full compliance as soon as possible.”

On compliance, she said, ‘’Right now even in PenCom we have a whole department devoted to
Enforcement and Compliance. We have also engaged recovery agents because, the compliance is on many level, some people have made deductions from their salaries and have not been remitted into their Retirement Savings Account (RSA)’.

She noted that the commission is going to work with the appropriate law enforcement agencies because it is a financial crime to take money out of an employees salary and do not then remit it to his Retirement Savings Account.

‘’It is something we take seriously, stressing that those who have not even complied at all, who have no RSA, who have no savings are part of what the commission is prioritising this year: to ensure that every one, it doesn’t mean that you have to be in a formal employment, those in the informal sector will also be brought under the scheme because they are the ones that are most in need of a retirement saving plan.’’

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