By Ngozi Onyeakusi: The National Pension Commission PenCom has disclosed that a total of 1.27 million retirees have benefited from of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), getting N2.72 trillion pension benefits since inception.

Speaking at the 2023 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) media parley in Lagos with the theme, ‘At the dawn of 20year Pension Reforms, What are the gains?,
Head of Surveillance Department PenCom, Ehimeme Ohioma noted there was need to commend the pension industry for the success recorded so far in the CPS

Ohioma, who proudly disclosed that the pension fund assets has risen to N17.64 trillion as at October 2023 said that retirees under CPS are enjoying compared to those under the old define benefit scheme.

According to him, 1,183 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders have so far accessed N13 billion as pension mortgage finance and that 17,376 retirement savings account holders have transferred N356 billion from one Pension Fund Administrator to another under the RSA transfer system.

He pointed out that N12 billion contributions from employees of defunct organisation, especially banks are unremitted to their owners who are unknown to PenCom and PFAs, stressing that PenCom had advertised for workers in such defunct organisation to come forward with evidence to enable the PFAs transfer the funds to their RSAs

According to him only N58 million of the fund has been accessed, even as he called on those concerned to check for their names on the list published on PenCom’s website.
Ehimeme maintained that PenCom is currently putting finishing touches on foreign currency denominated investments guidelines that would enable PFAs earn real return on investment.

Earlier in his speech, the President of PenOp Olumide Oyetan, commended the commission for its support over the years and for setting up framework to ensure operators play by the rule.

According to him, CPS remains one of the greatest national policy from democracy, stating that before commencement of the CPS, retirees were subjected to old age poverty as they were unable to get their pension at retirement.
Oyetan who doubles as the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited pointed out that the CPS is unique due to the safe valves, checks and balances ensured by the tripod structure which are the regulator, PFAs and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs).

He called on the government and public to sustain their faith on the CPS which for the past 19 years has continued to thrive without any incident of fraud.

He said pension operators would continue to innovated and comply with stipulated rules in offering quality services to contributors and retirees.

Chief Executive Officer Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Oguche Agudah, said the event was organised to keep journalist abreast of strides recorded so far in the pension industry and to also interact with them on how to improve service delivery in the sector.

He noted that the industry in year 2024 would experience great transformations going by innovations being worked on by PenCom and operators.