The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has issued a directive to all Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in Nigeria to establish branch offices in at least two states within each geo-political zone of the country.
Additionally, PFAs have been instructed to open a branch office in any state where they have 10,000 or more funded retirement savings accounts (RSAs).
Furthermore, they are required to open a service center in a different location within the state for every additional 10,000 funded RSAs.
If a PFA manages pension funds for state government employees or other pension schemes, they must open a branch office in the state capital as soon as the state begins funding the scheme.
This move is aimed at improving the accessibility and efficiency of pension services for the public. The National Pension Commission has observed a growing demand for pension services.
The entity aims to ensure that services are delivered more effectively to Retirement Savings Account holders. The circular outlines the conditions that PFAs must fulfill to establish branch offices and service centers.
Meanwhile, the PenCom has also revealed that it will take regulatory actions against employers who fail to remit pension contributions of their employees with incomplete documentation.
According to Nigeria’s Pension Reform Act 2014, employers with three or more employees are mandated to contribute to their employees’ Retirement Savings Accounts.
The PenCom has noticed non-compliance with these regulations and has set a deadline for employers to rectify the documentation issue.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is the body that regulates, supervises and ensures the effective administration of pension matters in Nigeria. It was established by the Pension Reform Act 2004.
In another development, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations has defended Aisha Dahir-Umar, the director-general of PenCom, against accusations of misusing funds.
The coalition dismissed documents circulating online that claimed she spent substantial amounts on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They asserted that these allegations were baseless and were aimed at undermining her efforts in reforming the pension sector.
The coalition highlighted Dahir-Umar’s achievements, including a significant increase in pension assets during her tenure.
The Nigerian pension sector is witnessing regulatory changes to ensure wider accessibility and effective service delivery. However, there are also some efforts to address allegations of financial misuse and uphold transparency in the sector’s operations.