The National Pension Commission (PenCoM) has said that the private sector accounts for the larger chunk of the total pension assets under management (AuM) in Nigeria. According to the industry regulator, the private sector workers own up to 70 percent of the total asset value in the industry put at N12.7 trillion.
This was disclosed by Umar Aminu, PenCom’s commissioner administration, at a town hall meeting on effective pension administration in the public service, organised by the office of the head of civil service of the federation.
Reacting to the statement by Folashade Yemi-Esan, head of the civil service of the federation, on the consideration of a review of the 2014 pension reform act, Aminu said the contribution in the pension pot belonged to 9.3 million people working in the private sector, as well as federal and state governments.
According to the commissioner, who represented Aisha Dahir-Umar, director general of PenCom, 5.8 million private sector workers owned the bulk of the contribution.
“When we talk of the N12.7 trillion I mentioned today, this money is a contribution that belongs to 9.3 million people, including people who are working for the federal government, the states and, largely, the private sector.
“About 5.8 million are actually people from the private sector. The private sector owns over 70 percent of this money because they contribute more. When we remove the state, we can see that the amount that belongs to the federal government employees and contributors is generally less than 10 to 20 per cent. So we need to put this thing into perspective: that you can’t take private sector money for the public sector because when we were talking about reform initially, there were contentious issues that we were confronted with by the private sector that we were going to take their money and use it for the public sector.”
Stating that PenCom had not been able to carry out a review of the pension retirement benefits because it was still awaiting the 33 percent from the consequential adjustment benefits following the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage, the commissioner stated that the commision had cleared all pension arrears up till December 2020 from the N100 billion which was approved last month by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chioma Ejikeme, executive secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), said the directorate had fully liquidated the 33 percent arrears for the 2010 pension increment whilst she added that over N7.2 billion was paid as a result of arrears to pensioners not on payroll in addition to payment of entitlement to next of kin of verified deceased pensioners.
Yemi-Esan regarded the review of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 as a major task that must be accomplished as she explained that the government had received submissions from the Contributory Pensions Union of Nigeria and a number of officers urging the review to enhance the welfare of workers.
She also disclosed that her office paid over N2.4 billion to over 594 beneficiaries as death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers from the N2.5 billion released by the federal government.