Non-remittance of pension: Private sector employers, state guilty —TrustFund Pensions

A leading Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), TrustFund Pensions Plc, has declared that the private sector and the state governments are the worst culprits in the area of non-remittance of pension under the contributory pension scheme for their workers.

To this end, Trustfund has called on workers who are all intending retirees to always check their balance to ensure that their employers have been remitting their pension as and when due.

The call was made by the Head of Customers Relations Management, Trustfund, Rachel Obi, while addressing participants during a pre-retirement and retiree forum organised by Trustfund Pensions in Abuja.

She said, “Private sector and state governments are worst culprits when it comes to non remittance of pension for the workers.”

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“For the pre-retirees, we tell them what they ought to know in preparation for retirement. They should be conscious of the balances in their accounts, whether or not their employers have remitted as and when due, as well as the legal issues, so that they can sort them out before they approach us for payment. So that when they come, payment is seamless.”

She pointed out that there are a lot of unfunded accounts due to the failure of the private sector employers to fully comply, while the state governments constituted a weak link in the implementation of the scheme.

Obi  said further: “Those in private sector are not remitting. If you tell them, they will tell you that business is not moving. So, we are having a lot of unfunded accounts. State governments, we also have that as a challenge. They were supposed to have signed on with this scheme and remit for their workers. So far, we can count on our finger tips the number of states that have signed up.”

On the issue of appropriate data, she said the company had enlightened its customers on the need for them to come for data capturing

She also stated that the high level of unemployment in the country is also affecting the pension sector and limiting its growth, most especially the scheme.

“Majorly, we all know that when it comes to unemployment, it is a major problem. We have lots of youths without employment. You don’t expect number of contributors to grow when we have employment issue.”

On the questions raised by some retirees on the need for enhancement of pension, she stated that PENCOM, which is the regulator, has categorised retirees based on the growth in their accounts.

She explained that there are some which a certain percentage is applied to their pension rather than allowing them to be earning the same amount over the years.

She said, “Basically, they are looking at enhancement of the pension. What PenCom has done is to categorise retirees. There are some, they look at the balances, growth in their account over the years; and depending on the growth, they decided to apply a certain percentage to enhance their pension, instead of leaving them to be earning  the same amount they have been earning over time.”