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Expert Calls for Awareness Campaigns to Boost CPS Acceptance

Idu Okwuosa, Compliance Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension, has said that the low level of adoption of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) was a result of low enlightenment campaign, saying, there is the need for serious sensitisation exercise to enlighten Nigerians on the importance of the new pension scheme.

Okwuosa, who spoke at a forum in Ikeja, Lagos, mentioned that most Nigerians are still ignorant about the new pension scheme, saying, most still see it as the old scheme marred by fraudulent and corruption.

The Compliant Officer at Stanbic IBTC Pension, who represented the Chairman, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Mr. MisbahuYola, said that there is the low level of adoption by employers of labour, because they felt their employees are not enlightened on pension scheme, and at such, can take them for a ride.

She was equally unhappy with a situation whereby an employer will deduct pension contribution from the salary account of an employer and fails to remit same to the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA).

In her word, “Employers are more responsible for pension default in the country from our own findings.  If your employers are not paying your pension, the employee being the whistle-blower, must notify the National Pension Commission (PenCom). Some are even deducting it from workers’ salary without remitting, which is fraudulent.”

She added that, if any policyholders are unfairly treated, ‘you have the right to report your PFA to PenCom, if you notice any foul play’.

She, however charged employers to do more and cooperate with pension operators to ensure that, not only are they registering their employees under the new pension scheme, but that pension allowance deducted from workers’ salaries be remitted to the concerned PFAs as and when due.

Moreover, she cautioned insurance agents to stop demarketing PFAs on withdrawal options, saying, most insurance companies are going craze in a bid to sell Annuity option to retirees, thereby, discrediting and misinforming the people about Programme Withdrawal option.

Stating that there are a few amendments PenCom is doing to the 2014 Amended Pension Bill, she said when such amendment is fully realized, it would expand the frontier of pension operators to penetrate and mobilize more fund, especially from the informal sector, into the scheme.

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