The Association of Pension Desk Practitioners of Nigeria on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to compel Nigerian employers to remit their employees’ contributions to their Retirement Savings Account (RSA).
Director of the association, Dr Chris Egbu, made the call in Abuja at the 2019 Annual Pension/Admin Conference with the theme “Best Practices in Pension Administration’’.
He expressed the need for more effective enforcement approach to ensure that defaulting employers remit their employees’ contributions promptly.
According to Egbu, failure of some employers to remit their employees contributions had made it difficult for workers to access their money after retirement.
He further expressed worry that some state governments were yet to subscribe to the contributory pension scheme.
“ Some state governments have not subscribed to the contributory pension scheme while workers on their part did not care at the attitude of the government to such issues as long as they get their monthly pay.
“They don’t deem it fit to be concerned with what may happen after their retirement.
“For some, their money is being deducted as the pension act says that the employer brings 10 per cent and eight per cent will come from the employee.
“Most people will deduct the employees’ own and the employer will not add his own and they will not remit it to the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA).
“ So, you see a circumstance at the end of the day somebody retires and his five years pension has not been remitted and he goes to PFA to collect his money and the PFA says we don’t have your money,’’ Egbu noted.
He, however, advocated for increased enlightenment towards achieving best practices in pension administration in the country.
“The challenges of achieving best practices lies in enlightenment,’’ he said.
According to Egbu, increased sensitisation of pension desk officers is critical to enable them guide employees’ on the right things to do to be free from difficulties accessing their pension after retirement.
“We want to acquaint those that are in charge of different offices to know the nitty-gritty of pension so that they can guide their fellow employees aright because people miss a lot of opportunities open to them through the pension scheme.
“What we are doing is to ensure that pension desk officers are well enlightened so that it will not be a blind man leading a blind person,’’ he said.
He further explained “a lot of people when entering for retirement savings account use a date of birth different from the one they got employed with but when they retire they will find it difficult to access their pension.
“This is because their date of birth is different; these are some of the challenges that we want people to be educated about so that they can have easy access to their pension,’’ Egbu said.
On her part Alhaja Nafisah Muhammad, Head, Business Development and Relationship Management, Sigma Pensions Limited emphasised the need for pension administrators to put in place structures that would enable workers achieve retirement in comfort.
“Sigma as a pension administrator has demonstrated greater commitment by going through the processes of opening accounts and follow-up with employers to ensure that remittances come in correctly.
“Pension administrators must ensure that invested pension funds are safeguarded so that at the point of retirement people get their payments due to them,”she advised.
edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Sadiya Hamza