PenCom recovers N14.38bn unremitted pensions from employers
The National Pension Commission says it has recovered N14.38bn from employers who had been deducting the pension contributions of their employees but refused to remit the funds into the workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts with their respective Pension Fund Administrators.
According to the acting Director General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, the funds included the penalty of N6.96bn that the employers were made to pay.
“The commission has adopted the strategy of employing recovery agents to recover unremitted contributions, including interest penalty, from defaulting employers in the private sector. The activities of the recovery agents from inception in 2012 to date have led to the recovery of N14.38bn made up of N7.42bn and N6.96bn as pension contributions and interest penalty, respectively,” she stated.
While speaking on compliance at other government levels, the acting DG said the Pension Reform Act, 2004 did not initially mandate states and local governments to adopt the Contributory Pension Scheme.
With the re-enactment of the Act in 2014, she added that state and local governments were mandated to adopt the CPS.
Dahir-Umar said, “Accordingly, the commission had relentlessly pursued the engagement of states between March 2016 and July 2017 and had engaged key government officials and labour unions in all the states.
“As a result, 26 states and the FCT have made significant efforts towards implementation of the CPS; nine states are currently at the bill stage of implementation, while only one state has not taken any significant step in this direction.”
Dahir-Umar added that it was imperative to point out that many of the critical stakeholders in the states had yet to fully grasp the tenets of the CPS and how state governments could achieve full compliance.
She noted that individual states were developing at varying phases based on the resources available to them.
“However, we are of the view that the CPS will be fully implemented in all the states once there is the necessary political will from the state governors,” she said.
The PenCom boss also stated that the CPS in Nigeria had facilitated a pool of pension funds, which had consistently accumulated over the years.
According to her, there are enormous potential for growth of the Nigerian pension funds to account for a significant proportion of the Gross Domestic Product.
“Indeed, the commission’s ongoing strategy implementation aims to attain an increase in the ratio of pension funds to the GDP to at least 10 per cent by 2019,” Dahir-Umar added.