The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has advised employees of both the formal and informal sectors in Nigeria, to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), to prevent old age poverty. This is even as the Commission plans to end the processing of Death Benefits Account (DBA), next year.
Death benefit is a legal means for beneficiaries to access the benefits of deceased employees, who did not open retirement savings account (RSAs) during their lifetime, which will be discontinued effective February 2020.
Accordingly, all PFAs have also been directed to stop the opening of DBAs from January 31, 2020.
Specifically, Head, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Peter Aghahowa, while speaking at the just-concluded, International Trade Fair, in Lagos, said the mandate of the Commission is to reduce old age poverty by providing a platform for Nigerians to be pensionable.
According to him, PenCom’s presence at the Fair was to sensitise the public on the importance and benefits of CPS and the Micro Pension Plan (MPP), and encourage more Nigerians to key into them. He said: “We are here to sensitise the public on the CPS and the MPP and why Nigerians should key into the schemes for their future benefit. The schemes were designed to improve the standard of living for employees upon retirement, among other benefits.”
He noted that the micro pension was introduced to bring the self-employed into the pension arrangement, to capture a large chunk of the working population. He said the Commission has made pension savings and benefit payment at old age cease to be exclusive to civil servants, noting that the micro plan provides the self-employed, traders, and artisans the opportunity to save for the rainy day.
He described the scheme as an arrangement under the CPS, which allows self-employed persons and those working for organisations, which does not have up to three employees to key into the scheme, noting that the commission has made everything easy, from registrations to benefits collection.
Meanwhile, Aghahowa urged employees that are enrolled on the CPS to meet their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to update their record for a seamless process in the ongoing data clean up, and to enable easy access to their retirement benefits.
He warned that RSA holders who ignore the directive would have themselves to blame in the event of any difficulty in assessing their retirement benefits.