- Regulators Move to Implement New Pension Guidelines
Regulators of the Contributory Pension Scheme in Lagos State and federal level are working together to implement new guidelines that have been introduced since the amended of the Pension Reform Act in 2014, investigation has revealed.
After the amendment of the Pension Reform Act in 2014, the National Pension Commission introduced some draft and new guidelines to enforce sections in the country’ statutory pension laws.
The Lagos State Government, in an early lead in adopting the CPS compared to other states of the federation, is also amending its pension laws to align with the provisions of the PRA 2014.
Some of the drafts and guidelines released by PenCom in recent years are the multi-fund structure, pension enhancement for retirees on programmed withdrawal, harmonisation of pension entitlements, access to the RSA (the mortgage option), and minimum pension guarantee.
The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, said it was cogent to update officials of government in charge of pension matters on innovations in the PRA 2014.
During a seminar on update on the CPS in Lagos, she said the contributory pensions that Lagos State subscribed to was not an isolated scheme, but a programme that was introduced by the Federal Government, with PenCom as the regulator.
According to her, PenCom is the national regulator of the CPS while LASPEC is the Lagos state’s regulator.
Onanuga said, “We also need to have a feel of the innovations coming from PenCom to exchange ideas as state regulators. We understand that everything Lagos State tries to do is to benefit the workers and we need to do this within the confines of the CPS.”
The director-general said the state was also sensitising the parastatals and agents of government to the need to comply with the Group Life Insurance Policy.
While speaking on one of the guidelines, an official of PenCom, Mr. Babatunde Philips, said that in 2017, PenCom released the amended regulation on investment of pension fund assets.
He said the new investment guidelines introduced a multi-fund structure, which replaced the former structure that put all active contributors into one Retirement Savings Account fund without consideration for age or risk profiles of such contributors.
Under the new structure, he explained that all the PFAs would be offered the multi-fund structure for the RSA comprising four funds and differed based on overall exposure to variable income instruments, and that the different funds would be made to fit the ages and risk profiles of contributors.
“The fund types include Fund I, which is for young contributors based on choice; Fund II for young and middle-aged contributors (ages 49 years and below); Fund III: for pre-retirees (ages 50 years and above) and Fund IV for retirees,” he said.
After much clamouring for enhancement of pensions under the CPS, Philips said that PenCom addressed this following the appreciable growth in the RSAs of retirees.
He said the commission developed a framework to set out the modalities for enhancement of the pensions of retirees on the PW under the CPS based on surpluses generated from return on investment on retirees’ funds.
Harmonisation of pension entitlements
Section 173 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “the right of a pension in the public service of the federation to receive pension or gratuity shall be regulated by law” – the law in the case of the CPS is the PRA 2014.
Section 173 (3) of 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “pensions shall be reviewed every five years or together with any federal civil servants’ salary reviews, whichever is earlier” for the Defined Benefit (old) Pension scheme.
According to PenCom, the pension enhancement framework in line with one of the objectives of the PRA 2014 seeks to harmonise the pension rights of retirees in both the private sector as well as in the public sector of the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria.
Residential mortgage option
Section 89 (2) 0f the PRA 2014 provides that a PFA may, subject to guidelines issued by PenCom, apply a percentage of pension fund assets in the RSA towards payment of equity contribution for payment of residential mortgage by a holder of the RSA.
The main objective of section 89 (2) is to facilitate access by the RSA holders to residential mortgages as well as stimulate the housing/mortgage finance sector.
According to PenCom, the proposed establishment of a mortgage guarantee company by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria will enable an RSA holder to obtain a mortgage loan based on a mortgage guarantee issued by the MGC and secured by a portion of the workers’ RSA balance.
Section 84 (1) of the PRA 2014 provides that all RSA holders who have contributed to a licenced PFA for a number of years to be specified by the commission shall be entitled to a guaranteed minimum pension as may be specified from time to time by the commission.
PenCom stated that the GMP is the lowest benchmark of pension which an eligible retiree under the CPS receives as minimum pension.
“It is an absolute amount which is equivalent to a certain percentage (to be determined by the commission from time to time) of the national minimum wage,” it stated.
According to the commission, the MPG will cover the RSA holders who contribute and retire under the CPS.
It stated that retirees solely on the PW whose RSA balances could only provide a stream of incomes lower than the GMP at the point of retirement and whose RSA balances at the point of retirement could provide a stream of incomes equal or higher than the GMP would benefit from it.
333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000
FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans
The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.
The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”
Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.
The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.
He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.
He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.
“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.
“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.
“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.
“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.
The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?
“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.
“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.
“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.
“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.
“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.
“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.
Airtel Africa Appoints Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a Non-Executive Director
Airtel Africa has appointed Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a non-executive director, effective from 27 October 2020.
In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the telecommunication giant said Ms. Bayer Rosmarin’s “appointment is by nomination of the controlling shareholder pursuant to the terms of relationship agreement dated 17 June 2019 between the Company, Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa Mauritius Limited, the majority shareholder and an indirect subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, and Bharti Telecom. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin will replace Arthur Lang who will step down as a non-executive director on the same date.
“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin is currently CEO of Singtel Optus and Consumer Australia. She was previously with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where she held several senior positions and varied portfolios, before being appointed as Group Executive of Institutional Banking and Markets. Ms Bayer Rosmarin is recognised for leveraging technology, data and analytics to develop leading customer services and experience. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin was named in the Top 10 Businesswomen in Australia and the Top 25 Women in Asia Pacific Finance and holds a variety of Board and advisory responsibilities.
“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin has, since February 2019, served as an Independent non-executive director on the Board of OpenPay, listed on the ASX. She will continue in that role. Openpay is a payments technology company based in Australia.”
Speaking on the change in the company’s director, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Arthur, who joined the Board in October 2018 and supported the company through its IPO, for his significant contribution to the success of our strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider and wish him well for the future.”
He further stated: “I am delighted that Kelly has agreed to join the Airtel Africa Board and we very much look forward to working closely with her”.
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