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Retirees paid over N260B by Pension Fund Operators

By News Express on 07/05/2015

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For the second time in two years, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has continued with its aggressive awareness campaign through town hall meeting, sponsored programmes and workers’ day celebration.

The Association again leveraged on the huge turnout at the 2015 May Day celebration in Lagos by sensitising Nigerians on the importance pension.

In an interview, Executive Secretary of PenOp, Susan Oranye, said that apart from creating awareness through town hall meetings, sponsored programmes on radio and televisions, as well as the Association’s continued participation at the workers day, PenOp is also involved in the National Financial Inclusion System to increase level of financial literacy in the country.

According to her, “There are still so many people who need to be educated, not about pension but financial literacy. PenOp is involved in the National Financial Inclusion System, where we are trying to increase the level of financial literacy across the country and it is our core responsibility to raise the awareness.”

On what the Association is doing to get this done, Oranye informed, “We arranged fora with the media, interface with employers, town hall meetings with people to educate on what pension is all about. That is why we enjoin the media to work with us in creating the awareness and letting people know that this system is working and it is safe.”

Oranye, who also disclosed the amount of money remitted so far to the retirees nationwide, said that over N260 billion has been paid to pensioners from inception. She, however, urged organisations to ensure that they are on the right side of the law by remitting the contributions of their employees and those that are yet to enroll to do so.

While decrying lack of informal sector involvement in the scheme, the executive secretary however said that Nigerians have accepted the scheme particularly in the formal sector. “As at last year, we had 5.5 million contributors in the contributory pension scheme, it has gone up to 6.4million by March 2015.”

Speaking further on compliance, she stated that Nigeria population is approximately 172 million while 80 million people are assumed to be in working population, the scheme has so far recorded 6.4 million contributors.

“In the Pension Reform Act of 2014, compliance is a major issue. Employers are demanded by the law to set up retirement savings account for their employees and make sure they remit. For those employers who do not comply, the National Pension Commission has recovery agents that will track them down,” she said.

According to her, “You must set up a pension system for your staff they must be members of the contributory pension scheme. Any employer who does not comply will be held liable by the law, she said, adding that “employees deserve to have their pensions; they deserve to be looked after. The employer should think about the future of the employees and be concerned about them. This will make the employer happy. A happy worker is a productive worker, a productive worker makes the business grow, when the business grows, Nigerian economy grows and everybody is happy.”

Speaking on the percentage of compliance since its inception, Oranye disclosed that the population of Nigeria is approximately 172million people, according to her half of that is in the working population. “We are saying approximately 80 million people and we have 6.4 million currently in the contributory pension scheme.”

“This is a wide gap, which is why in the pension reform Act of 2014, compliance is a major issue. Employers are demanded by the law to set up retirement savings account for their employees and make sure they remit. For those employers who do not comply, the National Pension Commission has recovery agents that will track them down.”

•Photo shows Head, Benefit Payments and Client Services Pal Pensions, Ophelia Alex-Iwuanyanwu (left),  Executive Secretary Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria-PenOp, Susan Oranye, Managing Director –FUG PESIONS , Usman Suleiman and Compliance Officers, Stanbic IBTC PENSION, Idu Okwuosa during the 2015 Workers Day Celebration in Lagos.

 

Source News Express

Posted 06/05/2015 9:52:19 PM

 

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