By Rosemary Iwuala
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has unfolded a revised regulation on retirement and terminal benefits for immediate implementation. This is the maiden comprehensive review of the regulation since its initial issuance in 2007.
The regulation guides the process of accessing retirement and terminal benefits by pension contributors and retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). In line with its consultative approach, PenCom obtained input from key stakeholders in order to ensure a more efficient retirement benefit administration.
According to PenCom, the revised regulation entitled “Revised regulation on retirement and terminal benefits Part I” is to be implemented by employers and pension managers.
The revised regulation contains several new provisions on pension enhancement, voluntary contributions, temporary access to RSA due to loss of job, payment under the Micro Pension plan, administrative sanctions for violations by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), amongst others.
Aisha Dahir-Umar, director-general, PenCom, explained that the new regulation introduces salient amendments to several existing provisions while providing more clarity on others. Whereas the old regulation outlined the documents required for retirees to access benefits, the revised regulation has simplified the documentation process.
“The new regulation mandated PFAs to make efforts to ensure that all documentation preparatory to the retirement of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holder should be provided and concluded within a period of four months prior to the date of retirement,” the PenCom boss said.
“In order to ensure that prospective retirees are duly educated on the modes of accessing their benefits, PFAs have also been mandated to advise prospective retirees to check their websites and be acquainted with the CPS retirement pack containing features of Programmed Withdrawal (PW) and Retiree Life Annuity (RLA) at least three months to date of retirement,” she said.
She added that the pack also contains other salient issues that would guide the retirees towards a smooth retirement process.