Expectedly, there were robust activities in the pension industry in 2018 which were as a result of great strides by the National Pension Commission.
These activities have direct positive impacts on the industry as well as solidifying structures and confidence in the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Some of these activities are highlighted below;
MICRO PENSION SCHEME
The essence of the Contribution Pension Scheme under the Pension Reform Act is to ensure, at the point of retirement, retirees have access to timely pension payments that would cater for their basic needs and enhance their quality of lives at old age.
Prior to this moment, the concentration of the Pension Reform Act has been in the formal sector of the economy. Potential participants who are not in the formal sector are ruled out of the Contributory Pension Scheme.
To bridge the gap, the National Pension Commission has commenced a process of bringing the ever successful pension reform into the informal sector. To this end, Micro Pension Scheme was birthed. According to the National Pension Commission, it is expected that full commencement would start before the first quarter of 2019 comes to an end.
“The Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 expanded coverage of the CPS to the self-employed and persons working in organizations with less than 3 employees. As this category of workers constitute the larger percentage of the working population in the country, there is no doubt that to achieve the Pension Industry’s strategic objective of covering 30% of the working population in Nigeria under the CPS by the end of 2024, all efforts should be on deck to extend coverage to this important segment of the Nigerian economy. In addition, due to their widely dispersed nature and generally low and irregular incomes, there is a need to provide a pension plan that would meet their special characteristics. In this regard, the Micro Pension Plan initiative has been conceived within the context of an industry-wide strategy to bring this class of workers on board.” The National Pension Commission.
No doubt, the Pension Industry has grown from where it took off at inception. To ensure a seamless Pension Industry, guidelines and modalities are being put in place from time to time.
One of those industry enhancement exercises is the Bio-metrics exercise embarked upon. Biometrics exercise is to ensure all data generating organisations have a harmonization of data process where bio-metrics such as fingerprints and data of clients are updated accordingly for retirees and active contributors. Across branches of First Guarantee Pension Limited nationwide, this exercise has been carried out and is still on-going for clients who are yet to do their metrics with First Guarantee Pension Limited.
TOTAL PENSION INDUSTRY ASSET AND TOTAL RETIREMENT SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
2018 recorded significant growth in the total industry assets. Comparing asset growth in the last 12 months, there is an addition of about N107B to the total industry asset which put the total pension industry asset at about N8.4T as at end of October 2018. However, we expect the asset to grow more significantly by the close of December 2018 activities.
In the same vein, an all-time record was achieved by the end of October 2018. A momentous 8.3M Retirement Savings Accounts are registered. The National Pension Commission has however set a target of reaching a record of 20M Retirement Savings Accounts by the end of 2019.
REVIEW OF PENSIONER’S PAY- PRE-ACT PENSIONERS
Generally, The Federal Government has shown interest not only in the lives of workers but also, in the lives of pensioners who retired before the commencement of the current Contributory Pension Scheme. The Federal Government announced an increase of 33% on pension payments to pensioners. This has however been implements as attested by the pensioners.
By and large, the success of the industry is commendable and First Guarantee Pension Limited that is one of the approved Pension Fund Administrator by the National Pension Commission also recorded significant achievements.
Apart from featuring in the top 10 Pension Fund Administrators in the Pension Industry, First Guarantee Pension Limited also maintained an impeccable fund price in 2018.
As we continue a robust Pension Management, Benefit and Advisory and excellent customer services in 2019, we are positive of more beautiful results reputed for real wealth creation through superior, consistent and sustained return on investment.