By Zainab Iwayemi
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has concluded plans to commence the implementation of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer window under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
The commencement of the transfer process, which is in line with section 13 of the Pension Reform Act of 2014, will enable RSA holders to transfer their accounts from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another within a year.
The pension commission, in a statement disclosed that the transfer process is scheduled to begin from November 16 and that the launching would signify the official opening of RSA Transfer Window.
The commission also said the development will bring about increased competition amongst PFAs as it would ensure that the PFAs give their best in satisfying account holders, especially following the extensive workshop which PENCOM has conducted for licensed operators and state pension bureaus in readiness for the epoch-making event.
“The activation of the RSA transfer process will engender competition and improve service delivery in the pension industry while asserting the right of RSA holders to determine which PFA manages their pension contributions and retirement benefits,” PenCom said.
Meanwhile, PENCOM had initially projected June 2020 as the commencement date for the RSA transfer window but had delayed due to issues regarding registration and biometrics as there was need to resolve concerns over double registrations and improper identification, which could lead to wrongful transfers among account holders.
The initial delay was as a result of the need to coopt the transfer window with the Pension Reform Act 2014, which gave birth to the CPS.
The RSA application is an electronic platform that allows seamless account transfer. The transfer window option means that retirement account holders can port from one PFA to the other even if he or she does not give any reason for the action.
Nevertheless, official data from the commission shows that among the 21 licensed operators, the top 10 PFAs manage about 88.20 per cent of the total RSA assets. Consequently, PFAs currently hold about half of the N11 trillion RSA assets as of August 2020.