In the first quarter of 2023, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) successfully recovered a total of N384.28 million in pension contributions owed by 34 defaulting employers. Aisha Dahir-Umar, the Director-General of PenCom, disclosed that the companies were fined N191.22 million for their failure to remit N193.06 million in pension contributions.
Speaking at the 2023 Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN) workshop, themed “Securing the Future: the Benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme to Nigerian Workers,” Dahir-Umar revealed these figures. She emphasized PenCom’s commitment to safeguarding workers’ interests and ensuring prompt payment of pension contributions by employers.
Dahir-Umar further provided insights into PenCom’s efforts in enforcing employer compliance. Since January 2012 until March 31, 2023, PenCom has recovered a total of N24.53 billion, comprising N12.44 billion in actual pension contributions and N12.09 billion in penalties. As of the end of the first quarter of this year, the pension assets’ value stood at N15.58 trillion, benefitting 9.95 million members of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
Abdulqadir Dahiru, the Head of Corporate Communications at PenCom, represented Dahir-Umar at the event. Dahiru emphasized PenCom’s dedication to ensuring that Nigerian workers receive their retirement benefits in a timely manner. He highlighted the commission’s meticulous regulation and supervision of the pension industry, resulting in the continuous growth of pension assets and CPS membership.
During the workshop, participants were informed about PenCom’s innovative approach, which allows Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders to use a portion of their pension savings to pay for mortgages. Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals in securing suitable housing upon retirement, PenCom aims to unlock the value of pension savings to facilitate homeownership.
Under the new policy, RSA holders who have contributed to their accounts for at least five years and meet specific eligibility criteria can utilize up to 25 percent of their pension savings as equity contribution towards acquiring residential properties. This initiative aligns with PenCom’s commitment to utilizing pension funds to drive economic development and social well-being.