CPS assets, hit N18.1trn says PenCom

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By Onu Okorie

The Director General of National Pension Commission PenCom Aisha Dahir-Umar has stated that the contributory pension scheme, CPS assets, currently in the region of about N18.1 trillion, have not only enhanced workers’ retirement status but also effectively addressed the inadequacies of the old pension system that left many retirees in penury.

The Director General, who disclosed this at the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria FICAN in Abuja, said under the Pension Reforms Act, which remains the enforcement regulations, late remittances attract not only penalties but also interests of two percent monthly on the amount involved.

Represented at the occasion by PenCom’s Head of Corporate Communications Department, Ibrahim Buwai, the Director General, assured the public of the safety and security of the pension funds, said notwithstanding the challenges posed by non-remittances and uncredited contributions, declaring that the Commission will not relent in enforcing compliance by contributing organisations and safeguarding the interests of all RSA holders.

Further highlighting the robustness of the CPS, the PenCom boss said the N18.1 trillion in pension assets belongs to over 10.1 million contributors which underscores the Scheme’s transparency and accountability, even as she noted that the pension assets are not just figures but represent the hard-earned savings of contributors and retirees.

She further explained that the efforts in addressing unremitted pension contributions in the last decade yielded about N12.9 billion from unremitted funds while the total fines on defaulters amounted to about N12.5 billion during the period under review.

Mrs Dahir-Umar however, explained that all the recovered funds have been painstakingly credited to the respective individual Retirement Savings Accounts RSAs to ensure that workers enjoy their entitled retirement benefits as appropriate.

Dahir-Umar, who acknowledged the challenges posed by millions of employers in terms of prompt remittances of employees’ contributions, also underlined the important role of RSA holders in monitoring remittances and encouraged them to report any discrepancies to PenCom for immediate action.

On public concerns about investing pension funds in the nation’s infrastructure development, the Commission’s Chief Executive explained that strict guidelines are in place to safeguard pension assets, adding that direct investment in infrastructure is prohibited.

She reiterated that investment decisions are made by Pension fund managers based on stringent regulations set by the Commission in its efforts to ensure the safety and efficiency of pension funds, while also seeking to promote financial literacy and retirement planning among Nigerians going forward.