In the face of mounting economic hardship, a concerning trend has emerged where employees are increasingly turning to their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) to make withdrawals.
Recent findings by Investors King indicate that the first quarter of 2023 witnessed a 240.1 percent surge in withdrawals from Additional Voluntary Contributions (ADV) to N3.02 billion. This marks a significant rise from the N887.9 million recorded in the previous quarter, Q4’22.
The National Pension Commission’s (PenCom) report for Q1’23 reveals that a notable 94.6 percent increase in the number of RSA holders withdrawing from their ADV occurred when compared to the preceding quarter. This brings the total count to 1117 individuals during the period.
Additional Voluntary Contributions, also known as ADV, were designed to empower workers to add extra funds to their mandatory pension contributions or set them aside specifically for retirement savings. The concept was introduced under the Pension Reform Act (PRA) of 2014 with the primary objective of augmenting retirement benefits for individuals.
Further analysis of the Pension Fund Administrators’ (PFAs) performance in RSA registrations for Q1’23 reveals that Stanbic IBTC maintained its leading position with 28 percent market share, attracting 23,586 new registrations.
Followed by Access Pensions Limited with an 11 percent market share and 9,546 new registrations while ARM Pension Managers Limited ranked third with a 9.2 percent market share and 9,546 new registrations.
Meanwhile, on the lower end of the performance table, NPF Pensions Managers had a meager 0.001 percent of total registrations, representing only 131 new RSAs.
Nigerian University Pension Management Company came next, accounting for 0.1 percent of total registrations, with a total of 179 new RSAs. Guaranty Trust Pensions Managers Limited secured 1.1 percent of total registrations with 879 new RSAs.
Experts have expressed concern over the growing number of individuals resorting to early withdrawals from their pension savings, which could significantly impact their financial security during retirement. The prevailing economic challenges may be driving employees to dip into their hard-earned savings, but it could potentially compromise their future financial stability.
Financial advisors urge employees to explore other viable alternatives for managing financial difficulties, such as seeking financial counseling, exploring government assistance programs, or utilizing emergency savings funds. Protecting one’s retirement savings remains crucial for ensuring a comfortable and secure post-employment life.
Contributory Pension Scheme Declines in Q2 2023 as New RSAs Plummet by 23.9%
In a startling development, the registration of workers into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) took a nosedive in the second quarter of 2023 with new Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) dropping by a staggering 23.9%.
This sharp decline follows a 10.2% YoY decrease in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1’23) and is causing concern among financial analysts and policymakers.
According to the second-quarter report released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), only 63,693 new RSAs were registered in the quarter ending on June 30, 2023.
This is a significant drop from the 83,654 recorded in Q1’23 and 93,114 in the same period in 2022.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers emerged as the leading provider, accounting for 30% of total enrollments, while NPF Pension Fund Managers registered the lowest numbers with just 33 new RSAs, a mere 0.05% of the total.
Access Pensions, Arms Pensions, and Leadway Pensure secured the second, third, and fourth positions, respectively, in terms of RSA registrations. Conversely, Nigerian University Pension Management Company, Veritas Glanvills Pensions Limited, and Guaranty Trust Pensions Managers Limited lagged behind.
This alarming trend in CPS registration raises questions about the state of retirement planning and financial stability among workers, prompting a need for a closer examination of contributing factors and potential solutions.
Pension Sector Under Fire as Complaints Mount to Alarming Levels
Despite Nigeria’s pension assets rising to an impressive N17.1 trillion in July, this financial prosperity is shadowed by a growing wave of discontent among pension contributors and retirees due to the mounting backlog of unresolved complaints within the sector.
Contributors and retirees, who shared their grievances, expressed frustration over the sluggish response or complete lack thereof to their complaints. This has sparked concerns that the National Pension Commission (PenCom) might be struggling to cope with the constant influx of grievances.
This unsettling trend is contributing to a growing inclination among various groups and institutions to seek an exit from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and revert to the old scheme.
Analysis of PenCom’s data, revealing alarming figures. In the first quarter of 2023 (Q1’23), out of 59 complaints related to non-remittance of pension contributions, only nine were resolved, leaving a staggering 84.7% of complaints unaddressed.
The trend continued in previous quarters, with a high percentage of complaints remaining unresolved.
PenCom acknowledges that besides non-remittance of pension contributions, they receive numerous other complaints daily. These encompass issues such as delays in receiving accrued pension rights, requests for resolution of multiple PIN registrations, approval delays for transfers to Retiree Life Annuity (RLA), programmed withdrawal, temporary access 25%, residential mortgage, voluntary contributions, and NSITF, along with delays in data-recapture and RSA transfer-related complaints.
Comrade Bisan Olufemi John, Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners Contributory Pension Scheme (NUPCPS), emphasized the urgency of enhancing customer service and improving the welfare of pensioners and workers.
He stressed that the government’s ability to address economic challenges hinges on satisfying the needs of both pensioners and current workers.
Malachy Eze, another pension contributor, criticized the pension industry’s slow response to complaints, noting that it negatively impacts the pension scheme.
He called for better opportunities and support for both workers and pensioners, particularly highlighting the issue of group life insurance claims.
Comrade Olagbayo Johnson, a NUPCPS member, expressed disappointment with the Contributory Pension Scheme’s performance, emphasizing the need to address its shortcomings promptly.
As the pension sector thrives, it becomes increasingly imperative to address these pressing concerns and ensure that pensioners and contributors receive the attention and support they deserve. The government’s commitment to prioritizing the welfare of its citizens, both past and present, remains essential for a prosperous economy.
15,000+ Retirees Withdraw N7.79 Billion from Savings Accounts
Over 15,000 retirees, who had not been receiving monthly stipends of at least N10,000 under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPA), withdrew N7.79 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) over the course of a year.
These individuals, as revealed in the National Pension Commission’s latest quarterly report on enbloc payments, possessed RSA balances of less than N1.6 million.
They officially exited the CPS between the second quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. Their numbers joined the ranks of 133,738 earlier retirees who left the CPS due to RSA balances below N550,000.
In response to this financial predicament, PenCom previously sanctioned the complete payment of RSA balances for those retirees whose amounts fell below N550,000, inadequate for securing a reasonable programmed withdrawal or annuity across their expected lifespans.
This move brought the total number of retirees departing from the CPS to an impressive 149,372 individuals, with a substantial sum of N41.3 billion disbursed to them.
These retirees were categorized into 7,584 from the Federal Government, 4,203 from state governments, and a significant majority of 137,585 from the private sector.
According to PenCom’s reports, “In the second quarter of 2022, approval was granted for enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 3,369 retirees, which totalled N1.45bn. These were retirees whose RSA balances could not provide a monthly pension of at least one third of the prevailing minimum wage (i.e. N30,000).
“In the third quarter, approval was granted for enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 4,529 retirees, which totalled N2.40bn. These were retirees whose RSA balances could not provide a monthly pension of at least one third of the prevailing minimum wage (N30,000).
“In the fourth quarter, approval was granted for enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 3,677 retirees, which totalled N1.56bn. These were retirees whose RSA balances could not provide a monthly pension of at least one third of the prevailing minimum wage (N30,000).”
News4 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities4 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
News3 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Dollar to Naira Today, September 7th, 2023
Government4 weeks ago
French Influence Wanes in Africa: Is Macron’s Africa Policy Doomed?
Black Market Rate4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 2nd September 2023
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
Ripple Labs Objects to SEC’s Request for Appeal in Landmark Cryptocurrency Case