By Cynthia Ezekwe.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) said it has set up modalities to ensure that issues and complaints by pension contributors and retirees in the sector are resolved satisfactorily within the shortest time possible.
Reassuring stakeholders of its commitment to deliver quality service, PenCom disclosed that in keeping to its corporate strategy initiative for 2023 to 2027, it established the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) to replace its Corporate Responsibility and ServiCom Department.
This, it explained, is anchored on the commission’s strategic plan that prioritises the quality of services rendered to customers, an approach which ensures that the pension services are tailored to meet their expectations effectively.
Speaking recently at a forum attended by stakeholders in Lagos, Ikenna Chidi-Ebere,the head of the CPD, maintained that it is the resolve of the commission to protect customers against any form of exploitation from any source and enforce their rights in line with its mandate.
Chidi-Ebere, who urged customers to provide accurate and relevant information to the commission at all time, affirmed that the commission has allocated dedicated staff to provide swift responses to complaints and inquiries received on a daily basis.
He noted that the platforms are monitored daily to proactively ensure smooth response to the complaints received, adding that details of every complaint are reviewed to determine its nature before being forwarded to appropriate channels to handle either within the Commission or Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) for resolution.
“We provide instant response to complaints that do not require further investigation. We issue withholding replies to consumers upon receipt of complaints, prior to the commencement of investigation. We escalate complaints to the relevant departments within the commission for immediate resolution,” he explained.
The development,according to PenCom, is in response to agitations by pension contributors and retirees over rising volume of unresolved complaints in the sector. The case of one year expectation of contributed funds has been described by pensioners as callous, vicious and wicked
Some of the common complaints lodged for resolutions include; non- remittance of pension contributions, delay in approval of transfers to Retirees Life Annuity (RLA), non- payment/ in receipt of accrued pension right for retirees of Treasury Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Others are; request for resolution of multiple PIN registration, delay in programmed withdrawal,temporary access of 25 per cent delay in data recapture,and Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer related complaints.