Pension recovery agents have recovered a total of N24.5 billion of unremitted pensions and its penalties, according to data from the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
The monies, which have been moved to Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) and remitted to Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders PIN covers the period from commencement of the recovery exercise in June 2012 to 31 March 2023.
According to PenCom’s 2023 first quarter report, the agents have recovered up to the review period N24.533 billion, comprising N12.440 billion principal contributions and N12.093 billion penalties.
PenCom has continued to maintain the services of Recovery Agents (RAs) for the recovery of unremitted pension contributions and penalties from defaulting employers.
In the third quarter period, demand notices were issued to defaulting employers whose pension liabilities were established by the Recovery Agents.
During the quarter, the sum of N384, 280,651.48 comprising principal contributions of N193.059 million and penalties N191. 222 million was recovered from 34 defaulting employers.
Meanwhile, four defaulting employers were forwarded to the Commission Secretariat/Legal Advisory Services Department for prosecution.
Section 11 (6) of the Pension Act 2014, states that any employer who fails to remit the contributions within the time prescribed shall, in addition to making the remittance already due, be liable to a penalty to be stipulated by the commission.
The penalty, according to the pension law shall not be less than 2 percent of the total contribution that remains unpaid for each month, or part of each month that the default continues, and the amount of the penalty shall be recoverable as a debt owing to the employee’s retirement savings account as the case may be.
Aisha Dahir-Umar, director-general, PenCom had called on employers to make prompt remittance of their workers’ pension deductions.
Dahir-Umar who was represented by Babatunde Alayande, head, South West Zonal Office of PenCom said for pensions to be smart in order to equip employees for a better future, employers are expected by Pension Reform Act (PRA 2014), to ensure the remittance of pension contributions of employees into their Retirement Savings Account (RSAs) within seven days of salary payment.
“Pension contributions are expected to be remitted into the RSAs of employees within seven days of salary payment,” he stated.
For pension to be smart employers are also expected to open nominal retirement saving account for employees who have refused to open their own retirement saving accounts and once the nominal RSA is opened on behalf of such employee, the employer is expected to commence pension contribution remittance into that nominal RSA until the employee opens his.
In the period under review, PenCom reviewed, processed and issued 4,487 pension clearance certificates to organizations that met the requirements and the sum of N103. 470 billion was remitted into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of 119,865 employees.