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Double PIN pension contributors in confusion as PFAs commence bio-data update

Some pension contributors that may have inadvertently registered with more than one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) are currently in confusion over ongoing bio-data update as directed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

The PFAs are currently embarking on bio-data update in compliance with PenCom’s directive that contributors and retirees under their management should be aligned with the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) database.

PenCom had late last year directed all Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders and retirees to update their bio-data, particularly the National Identification Number (NIM) and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with their respective PFAs. It had also directed all PFAs to update the records of their clients.

BusinessDay checks, however, show that some contributors who registered with more than one PFA and possess more than one RSA Personal Identification Number (PIN) do not know which PFA to align as, in most cases, they have their contributions spread in more than one PFA.

“I have two different PINs, one with AIICO Pensions and another with Stanbic IBTC Pensions,” one of the contributors told BusinessDay.

According to the contributor, he had earlier registered with one of the PFAs. When he changed employment, his new employer did not accept the first PFA he had chosen, maybe for ease of remittance to the Pension Fund Custodian (PFC), and so he was compelled to open account with a second PFA where the rest of the staff had their contributions.

Currently, he is confused, having received a notification from one of the PFAs about its plan to update his bio-data.

“We are aware of these issues and that is why we are appealing to contributors to provide their National Identification Number (NIM) and their Bank Verification Numbers with their PFAs so that we can reconcile the information we have,” Peter Aghahowa, head, corporate communications at PenCom, said.

“No one person has two NIMs or two BVNs, and that is the same thing we want to do with RSA holders. We believe that when this exercise is completed, we would have properly resolved the bio-data issues we have. That is why we are soliciting the support of contributors and retirees,” he said.

Paddy Ezeala, regional manager, South East, Premium Pension Limited, said the Contributory Pension Scheme as implemented in Nigeria and many other countries was highly technology-driven.

“If there is total compliance with the necessary procedures and requirements, the implementation of the scheme would be a smooth sail, stopping short of being a turnkey rendition,” Ezeala said.

He noted, however, that inadequate and inappropriate data input by contributors at times renders the work of pension operators extremely difficult and slows down processes.

“Even contributors have been subjected to avoidable suffering because of the inadequacies and inconsistencies in data input. Some have had the payment of their entitlements unduly delayed, and consequently casting a slur on the effectiveness of the CPS,” he said.

He further said there were extreme cases, such as double registration, where workers or contributors open RSAs with two different PFAs.

“I do not know how two different accounts can be simultaneously funded. However, the on-going bio-data update or recapturing provides an opportunity to harmonize such situations. A worker can only have one RSA,” he said.

“The CPS remains the most effective and altruistic policy of the Nigerian Federal Government aimed at addressing identified and specific societal anomaly. Therefore, cooperation of all stakeholders is required for it to succeed, including contributors who are expected to provide adequate and accurate information from the beginning,” he said.

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