PenCom recovers N24.53bn from non-compliant employers of labour in 12 years



Uba Group

The National Pension Commission has recovered about N24.53 billion as pension contributions owed workers by defaulting employers across the country.

The Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, made this disclosure last week in Lagos at the 2023 Labour Writers Association of Nigeria Workshop with the theme ‘Securing the Future: The Benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme to Nigerian Workers’.

Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the forum by the commission’s Head of Corporate Communications, Abdulqadir Dahiru, explained that the recovery of the amount was from June 2012 to March 31, 2023.

The pension fund management expert disclosed that out of the total recovered sum, N12.44 billion was actual pension contribution while N12.09 billion was raked in from sanctions imposed on defaulting employers.

Dahir-Umar further disclosed that in Q1 2023, N384.28 million, comprising N193.06 million contributions and N191.22 million penalties, was recovered from 34 defaulting employers, adding that he commission is committed to protecting workers’ interests and ensuring that employers pay pension contributions as and when due to enable retirees enjoy their retirement benefits in time.

While pointing out that the Commission’s strict regulation and supervision of the pension industry has helped in growing pension assets and the Contributory Pension Scheme membership, the Director-General disclosed that as of the end of Q1 2023, the value of pension assets stood at N15.58 trillion while CPS membership grew to 9.95 million.

Recalling that in 2022 the PenCom launched a policy which allowed Retirement Savings Account holders to utilise a portion of their retirement savings as equity for mortgages, Dahir-Umar noted that the policy marked a significant milestone in the Commission’s ongoing efforts to provide greater flexibility and access to pension funds for the benefit of RSA holders.

“We recognise that many individuals face challenges in securing adequate housing upon retirement, and we aim to address this issue by unlocking the value of their pension savings to facilitate home ownership.

“The pension fund management expert disclosed that out of the total recovered sum, N12.44 billion was actual pension contribution while N12.09 billion was raked in from sanctions imposed on defaulting employers”

“Under this new policy, RSA holders who have contributed to their accounts for at least five years and met specific eligibility criteria can utilise up to 25 percent of their pension savings as equity contribution towards acquiring residential properties.

“This policy aligns with our commitment to ensuring that pension funds catalyse economic development and social well-being,” Dahiru-Umar added.

She maintained that RSA holders can also access 25 per cent of their RSA balance to cushion the effect of job loss if they could not secure another employment after four months of job loss to offer immediate support during the difficult period while the remaining balance in the RSA will continue to grow and accumulate until the RSA holder attains retirement age.

The Director-General urged the participants to approach the workshop with an open mind and commitment to excellence in journalism.

The pension management expert expressed optimism that enhancing journalists’ understanding of pensions would equip them in enlightening members of the public, dispel misconceptions and foster financial planning culture and security among workers nationwide.

“We firmly believe that a well-informed and engaged media plays a vital role in driving information flow and positive change in our society. As writers and journalists, you can shape public opinion and influence policy discussions.

“Therefore, we must work together to ensure accurate and comprehensive reporting on pension-related matters, which are of great significance to the well-being and future of Nigerian workers,” she added.