DAILY COURIER |
Tayo Busayo – The National Pension Commission, PenCom, has reiterated commitment to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) created for operators in the informal sector to take care of their retirement age.
It said the MPP was introduced to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old.
The Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, stated this in her remarks at the annual Journalists’ Workshop organised by the Commission for Journalists covering the pension industry in Lagos.
In the address read on her behalf by the Head of Corporate Communications, Abdulqadir Dahiru, the PenCom boss said the Commission had intensified the awareness campaign on the MPP to ensure it reaches the target population across the country.
To create awareness of the Micro Pension Plan, she said that the Commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, was championing an Industry Media Campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones.
“Strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remain one of the significant areas of focus of the Commission. The MPP was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.
“The MPP was implemented to curb old-age poverty by assisting the workers, as mentioned above, to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they become old. To create awareness of the Micro Pension Plan, the Commission, in collaboration with the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, is currently championing an Industry Media Campaign in major cities in the country’s six geopolitical zones,” she said.
Dahir-Umar recalled that PenCom increased the minimum regulatory capital requirements for Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to ensure adequate protection of the pension assets.
“As you know, PenCom increased the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) requirements of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) from N1 billion to N5 billion last year. The recapitalization exercise had a 12-month transition from April 27 2021, to April 27 2022. As of the deadline, all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have complied with the Commission’s directive to increase the Minimum Regulatory Capital (Shareholders’ Fund) from N1 billion to N5 billion.
The reason for the recapitalization exercise was to ramp up the capacity of the Pension Fund Administrators to manage the increasing number of registered contributors, and the value of pension fund assets under which I am pleased to inform you stood at 9,795,957million and N14.27 Trillion, respectively, as at June 30, 2022. it is expected that the exercise will bring about increased effectiveness and efficiency as well as improved service delivery in the industry.”
Dahir-Umar said the workshop provides the Commission with a platform to interact with the media to discuss developments in the pension industry. “It is also an opportunity to present the achievements of PenCom and the challenges faced in implementing the Contributory Pension Scheme. To this end, the Commission hopes to sustain the existing cordial relationship with the media, which would translate to the general public being better informed about the pension industry,” she said.
“The theme of this year’s workshop, ‘Increasing Informal Sector Participation in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS): The case for Micro Pension Plan’, aligns with the Commission’s objective of expanding coverage of the CPS. The objective is to bring in to the CPS, Nigerians working in the Informal Sector and those who are Self-Employed through the Micro Pension Plan (MPP). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to educate the media on the MPP and enlist your support to make the Plan popular amongst informal sector workers and the self-employed.