By Wilson Adekumola
The National Pension Commission has said that it has recovered N384 million from defaulting employers.
The PenCom’s Director-general, Aisha Dahir-Umar made this known at the 2023 Labour Writers Association of Nigeria workshop, in Lagos, adding it has recovered N384.28 million as pension contributions owed workers by defaulting employers in the first quarter of 2023.
She expressed PenCom’s commitment to ensure workers’ interests are protected and by ensuring that employers pay pension contributions as and when due.
She added that this development is to compensate workers on temporary job loss, residential mortgage, emolument payment, severance packages, access to credit savings amongst others are addressed.
PenCom is confident that the contributory pension scheme would ensure that workers have accrued rights to a particular funds as entitlement.
Dahiru-Umar, while speaking on the sideline of the Labour Writers workshop with the theme, ‘Securing the Future: the Benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme to Nigerian Workers’, revealed that, the amount recovered by the commission is from January 2023 to March 31, 2023.
Represented by the head of corporate communications, PenCom, Abdulqadir Dahiru, the Director-General said, N384.28 million was recovered from 34 defaulting employers.
“PenCom is determined to ensure that Nigerian workers receive their retirement benefits in time. The commission’s meticulous regulation and supervision of the pension industry had ensured that pension assets and the contributory pension scheme (CPS) membership continued to grow,” she pointed out.
On pension recoveries, she stressed that, the value of pension assets stood at N15.58 trillion as at March 31, while CPS membership was 9.95 million.
Dahiru-Umar explained further that, in 2022, the commission set up a policy allowing retirement savings account holders to make use of a portion of their retirement savings as equity for mortgages.
She said the policy marked a significant milestone in the commission’s ongoing efforts to provide greater flexibility and access to pension funds for the benefit of RSA holders.
“We recognise that many individuals face challenges in securing adequate housing upon retirement, and we aim to address this issue by unlocking the value of their pension savings to facilitate homeownership,” she added.
“Under this new policy, RSA holders who have contributed to their accounts for at least five years and met specific eligibility criteria can utilise up to 25 per cent of their pension savings as equity contribution towards acquiring residential properties.
“This policy aligns with our commitment to ensuring that pension funds catalyse economic development and social wellbeing.”