Home Business Ten Years of CPS Gone; Another 10 Begins

Ten Years of CPS Gone; Another 10 Begins

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The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), is arguably the most successful government initiative in recent times and a clear testimony to the effectiveness of private-sector-driven rendition of service in critical sectors. With cumulative funds of N4.7 trillion as against the N4.1 trillion reported in 2013 and membership enrolment of 6.5 million workers as against 6.1 million in 2013, these figures are mainly indicative of the fact that, the teething challenges of the industry have been surmounted and the initial skepticism has drastically reduced.” According to the chairman of Premium Pension Limited, Aliyu Dikko, the promulgation of the Pension Reform Act 2014 which repealed the Pension Reform Act, 2004 has among other provisions graciously increased the total minimum contributions from 15 per cent to 18 per cent of the employee’s emolument, provide basis for extending the scheme to organisations having as less as three employees, allow retirement savings account (RSA) holders to utilize part of their balance as equity contributions for mortgage facilities and expanded the investment space by providing legal framework for investment abroad. He however said that more work still has to be done in the area of public enlightenment on the workings of the industry and the immense advantages accruable from enrolling in the scheme. Going forward, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria said it had commenced the training of operators aimed at enrolling 70 million workers from the informal, private and public sectors under the Contributory Pension Scheme which will also add to the public enlightenment of the society on the working conditions of the scheme and its benefits to all. According the Executive Secretary of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Ms. Susan Oranye, the National Pension Commission trained the operators on key procedures such as basic calculation of fund pricing, differences between programmed withdrawals and annuity, death benefit requirements and new initiatives in the sector. Oranye said the training, held in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, provided opportunities for the workers to share knowledge and initiate measures to tackle challenges affecting their operations. According to her, the training and other measures adopted by the association were geared towards making adequate provisions for workers presently covered by the scheme and those that would be integrated through recent initiatives taken by Pension Commission and the association. “We are aware that there are approximately 176 million people in this country and about 70 million people in the workforce and currently, we have about 6.4 million in the Contributory Pension Scheme,” she stated. On the recently concluded training Oranye noted that “it was extremely exciting and interactive. The focus of the training was to build the capacity, knowledge base and confidence of the workers, especially those who are at the front line in the organisation they work for,” she said. According to her, the pension industry has seen changes in the procedures, required documentation and other issues. “We felt that it was important that all the representatives, staff members who have face to face contact with customers and the general public on a daily basis are brought up to date regarding all the changes, processes and documentation required. We do not want any of them to offer substandard customers service, hence, the need for the training,” Oranye added. As the industry awaits the guidelines permitting informal sector workers to join the CPS, it is expected that the next ten years will be more robust than the present.

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