Private Firms Remit N139bn Into Pension Accounts In 12 Months
Abuja, April 9, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Companies in the private sector remitted the sum of N139 billion into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 428,675 workers, growing the pension assets to N7.51 trillion as at the end 2017
This means the firms remitted the monthly pension contributions of their employees throughout last year, thereby complying with the Pension Reforms Act (PRA) 2014. To this effect, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) issued certificate of compliance to the firms.
This is a serious breakthrough in the era of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), with private sector employers fulfilling the pension obligation of their employees even though there are pockets of employers who have refused to comply with the pension Act and are currently being trailed by PenCom to remit their workers’ contribution or be taken to court.
Last year, about 60 employers were taken to court for violation of the PRA 2014 Act, even as more private companies continue to join the new pension scheme.
That however cannot be said of government at the federal and state levels, as both tiers of government are still lagging behind in prompt remission of monthly pension contribution into the pension accounts of government workers.
While federal government has been remitting, though not as promptly as expected, state governments are the major culprits, with 22 states yet to commence the implementation of the new pension scheme.
A document obtained by Leadership Newspaper from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) noted that in the first quarter of 2017, precisely between January and March 2017, the sum of N25.85 billion was remitted to 88,943 employees RSAs by the 4,065 organisations that were issued compliance certificates.
In the second quarter, N26.41 billion was remitted into the RSAs of 45,505 employees, while the sum of N13.77 billion was remitted into the RSAs of 62,077 employees from the applicant organisations in the third quarter of 2017.
In the fourth quarter, N13.77 billion was remitted into the RSAs of 62,077 employees from the applicant organisations.
Further findings showed that the private sector continues to dominate in RSA membership with 55.54 per cent (4,345,044) of the total RSA registration as at the end of the fourth quarter, moving from 4,253,003 in the previous quarter.
The sector also witnessed a growth of 2.16 per cent (92,041) in the fourth quarter of 2017. This, market observers believe, is attributed to the increase in the level of compliance by private sector as a result of the various steps taken by PenCom to improve compliance and coverage, as well as marketing strategies of the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Moreover, with more private sector players now ready to join the CPS and PenCom going after defaulting employers, experts said these indicators would continue to push the pension funds now at N7.51 trillion upward.