More firms defy pensions’ employee enrolment rules
Corporate organisations in the Information Technology (IT) and real estate sectors have joined a number of other sector operators to defy the rules of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which mandated them to register their workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
In a random investigation by The Guardian, in Lagos, at the weekend, the rule, which stipulated that any private sector organisation, with at least 15 employees in its payroll, should enroll them into the scheme, is now recording a widespread neglect and disregard, even without fears of sanctions.Also, Section 4(1) of the Act said that every employee, to which the Act applies, is entitled to a compulsory monthly contribution of not less than 10 per cent of the employee’s monthly emoluments by the employer, while the employee contributes not less than eight per cent of same.
At the head office of Ama-Dove Nigeria Limited, an international education outfit, located at Ikeja, Lagos, a reliable source, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that the firm which was established in 2010, with three branches in Enugu, Ibadan and Ilorin and a staff strength of more than 15 has refused to enroll its employees on the CPS, not even on a group life insurance cover.
But the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ama-Dove, Michael Adekanle, after baring fangs over the inquiry, admitted that his company is note the only one that has not complied or enrolled the staff on the CPS.“Actually, we are not aware of the CPS. We have never been communicated to about the scheme,” he said.Also, Finet Communications Limited, a mobile phone company, was among the companies that flouted the pension laws, but said they have not denied workers of their rights.
Speaking with the General Manager, Finet Communications, Collins Nwosu, on a phone conversation, in Lagos, to ascertain the company’s reason for defying the pension laws, he acknowledged the company’s knowledge of the CPS and affirmed the employees claims.
“We work with ARM Pensions, though we have been approached by another PFA in Onitcha, which complained that some of our workers are not enrolled in the scheme.“We have told them that some of our staff are not enrolled because it is a new office and they are under probation.”Also, an estate management company located at Osborn Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, did not enrolled its workers in the CPS, according to the workers, stating that the management was aware of the scheme. Efforts to reach the management was not successful.
“I think the management is aware of the scheme, but has refused to enroll the workers. They have also been notified of the Life Insurance Policy, but they refused to get a life insurance cover for the workers,” the source said.It was also discovered that some media houses are guilty of the series of defaults by private sector organizations, according to a journalist, who claimed to be aware of companies by working in about four of them.
An employee of Ripples Nigeria, a private online news media, told The Guardian that the firm is yet to comply to the act, but expressed doubts if the company actually has knowledge about the scheme or a case of ill-will.
According to section 2(1) of the PRA Act, the provision applies to any employment in the public service of the federation, the public service of the federal capital territory, the public service of the states, the public service of the local government and the private sector.Notwithstanding this provision, Section 3 of the Act, stated that organisations with less than three employees, as well as, self-employed persons, shall be entitled to participate under the scheme in accordance with guidelines issued by the commission.
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