• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Amended Pension Bill to accommodate police, paramilitaries

More Nigerians fall back on pension savings for survival

The Pension Reform Bill when amended and passed into law would address some or all of the challenges earlier expressed by the Nigeria Police and other paramilitaries that were making them consider pulling out of the Contributory Pension Scheme, analysts have said.

Also expected in the reform Bill will be giving the National Pension Commission (PenCom) like the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) legal powers to seal office or premises of any organization not complying with the Pension Reform Act.

The Presidency last week sent two Bills to the National Assembly, including the Pension Reform Bill for amendment, which is expected would ensure smooth operations of the scheme.

The Presidency it was would be recalled had directed the Nigeria Police Force to remain under the CPS rather than striving to exit from the scheme, while directing the Pension Regulator, The National Pension Commission to look into their issues and accommodate them in the existing CPS.

Following the exit of the military from the CPS, the Nigeria Police Force, the State Security Service, the Nigeria Customs Service and other paramilitary organisations began threatening to exit the scheme, which analyst said posses great danger to the success achieved.

Read also: Gov. Akpabio asked to withdraw N100m pension bill

Rather than being permitted to exit the pension scheme, The Presidency advised that while the issues raised by the police authority were valid, efforts should be made by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to address these concerns within the system.

Analysts maintained that if these institutions are allowed to pull out of the contributory pension scheme, the integrity of the scheme will be hurt and more organisations may pull and could lead to the death of the scheme.

The nation’s Contributory Pension Scheme established under the Pension Reform Act 2004, which was threatened by exist of military and planned exit of police as well as other paramilitary forces, would now see more consolidation as Federal Government has closed the door for such exit.

This development industry analysts are happy would bring about consolidation in the sector, increase market size, enhance service delivery, ensure overall protection of retirees future and in all, achieve the key objective of the pension reform in the country.

Total pension assets under management as that end of last year stood at about N3 trillion with 5 million employees both in the public and private sector already registered in the scheme, where the pension assets was growing at an average N20 billion monthly.