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Employers Pay N5.2bn Fine for Not Remitting Workers’ Pension Contributions

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  • Employers Pay N5.2bn Fine for Not Remitting Workers’ Pension Contributions

Some employers of labour have paid N5.2bn as fines for their failure to remit the pension deductions of their workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme into their respective Retirement Savings Accounts with their Pension Fund Administrators, investigation has revealed.

According to a report on unremitted pension funds obtained by our correspondent, the National Pension Commission also recovered N6.2bn unremitted pension contributions from the concerned employers.

“A total of N11.41bn pension contributions was recovered from defaulting employers from inception to date, which is made up of N6.21bn actual pension contributions and N5.20bn penalty,” PenCom stated.

Some years back, when the regulator discovered that several thousands of employers were not funding their workers’ RSAs, it employed the services of recovery agents.

The recovery agents were asked to go after the defaulting employers to retrieve all outstanding contributions along with the interest penalty.

The Pension Reform Act, which established the Contributory Pension Scheme, was enacted to ensure the payment of retirement benefits to employees in both the public and private sectors.

Under the law, every employee is mandated to open a RSA in his name with any PFA of his choice and notify his employer of it.

Employers, according to the law, are required to deduct eight per cent of the worker’s monthly remuneration and add another 10 per cent, making a total of 18 per cent, which should be paid into the employee’s RSA not later than seven days after salaries are paid.

PenCom said that following the issuance of demand notices to defaulting employers, whose liabilities had been established by the consultants, some of them had been remitting the outstanding pension contributions and penalties.

The commission said it maintained the services of the consultants to follow up and recover the outstanding pension contributions with penalties from the defaulting employers.

PenCom said it continued to apply various strategies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the PRA 2014, which included the applications of sanctions and collaboration with key stakeholders on public enlightenment campaigns.

“Similarly, the agents employed by the commission have continued to recover outstanding pension contributions with interest penalties from all errant eligible employers,” it stated.

The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said the CPS was established to deliver better pensions to retirees.

“The Federal Government took a remarkable step in changing the pension landscape through the enactment of the Pension Reform Act,” she said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

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Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.

According to Michael McCarthy, the Chief Market Strategies, CMC Markets, the surged in gold price is a result of the projected drop in dollar value or uncertainty.

He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”

As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.

Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

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Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.

While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.

On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”

“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.

Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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