FG Owes N79.16bn Contributory Pension, As EFCC Prosecutes 243 Employers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Owes N79.16bn Contributory Pension, As EFCC Prosecutes 243 Employers

Posted: May 4, 2016 at 8:18 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
The Federal Government considered to be a major employer of labour in the country has been accused of owing N79.16 billion being arrears of 15 per cent pension increase owed to 79,961 retirees under the contributory Pension scheme as at December 31, 2015.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) in its presentation before the House Committee on Pensions, also observed that out of the N91.91 billion projected Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund (RBBRF), only N50.20 billion was provided for in the 2016 appropriations bill awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature, leaving the balance of N41.71 billion.
Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, PenCom Director-General, gave the information at the public hearing on ‘the level of compliance on the contributory pension scheme,’ held at the instance of House Committee on Pension.
She also also alleged that “Federal Government is also yet to commence the implementation of the revised 18 per cent minimum pension contributions for its employees as stipulated under Section 4 of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
The breach, according to National Pension Commission (PenCom), was a “financial crime” to be referred to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
According to her, the Commission has so far transferred Pension assets worth N274.41 billion to licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) from both private and public sector employers.
In the bid to track defaulters, the Commission has recovered N9.289 -13824 comprising of principal engaged recovery agents and N3.633 billion penalty as at December 31, 2015.
As at 2014 when the new legislation took off, 243 employers that failed to remit outstanding Pension contributions had been subjected to legal action and are at different stages of prosecution at the National Industrial Court (NIC).
“Employers that fail to remit outstanding pension contributions and are further approached for civil compliance through administrative mechanisms as set out in the regime of sand ions of the Commission.
“This sanction regime include and are not limited to the issuance of demand letters, letters of warning, letters of caution and outright sanctions,” she stated.
While speaking on the categories of persons exempted from the contributory Pension scheme, the PenCom Chief explained that all judicial officers exempted by virtue of Section 291 of the 1999 Constitution and military, intelligence and security services personnel, are subjected to the supervision and regulation of the Commission.
Anohu-Amazu observed that out of about 7 million employees working with public and private sector employers and registered with PFAs, only 73,402 employees have so far been registered, while 43,918 employers with more than three employees have largely complied with the provisions of the PRA.
While giving breakdown of monthly contributions into the pension coffer, the Commission disclosed that “the monthly remittance by private sector has gradually improved and the returns for the month of December 2015 indicated that N45 billion or 70 per cent of the total expected remittance was remitted to 1,607,361 RSAs.
“The engagement of recovery agents in 2012 contributed in the improvement of the amount of average monthly remittance of Pension contributions from N35 billion in 2011 to over N55 billion in 2015.
“Through the efforts enumerated above, the pension assets of the industry have grown steadily from N110.69 billion in 2006 to N5.302 trillion in December 2015.
“Similarly, the membership of the various Pension schemes has grown from 1.6 million in 2006 to 6.89 million in December 2015,” Anohu-Amazu told the Committee.