Over 248,000 retirees have begun reaping the benefits of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), taking home over N9.360 billion pensions monthly, just as the pension industry has accumulated over N8.73 trillion worth of assets as at December 31, 2018.
While 194,000 retirees earn an average pension of N6.56 billion under Programmed Withdrawal, 54,000 of them have received an average of N2.8 billion under life annuity monthly pension as at December 31, 2018.
This was disclosed by the Acting Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom) Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, in a chat with journalists in Lagos.
“Indeed, about 194,000 have retired and were receiving an average pension of N6.56 billion under the Programmed Withdrawal Arrangement while 54,000 retirees were currently receiving an average pension of N2.8 billion on monthly basis under life annuity as at 31 December 2018.”
“To date, total pension contribution received from both the public and private sector employers for 8.3 million employees is about N5 trillion. Accordingly, the CPS has opened the window for Nigeria to generate a sizable pool of investible funds. For the first time, the pension industry had accumulated over N8.73 trillion worth of assets as at 31 December 2018,” she said.
According to her, the life annuity and the group life insurance programmes introduced by the CPS have facilitated economic growth through improved businesses in the insurance industry, particularly, as insurance is one of the focus sectors under the economic recovery and growth plan of the Federal Government.
“Both PRA 2004 and 2014 mandated employers to maintain life insurance policy in favour of the employee for a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employee. This provides another means of averting vulnerability to poverty and other levels of risk exposures to families of deceased employees,” she explained.
She further noted that the provision of Guaranteed Minimum Pension under the PRA 2014 is quite a remarkable means of averting old age poverty through its strong redistributive impact and that it has provided a minimum income to all eligible persons, as an incentive to participate in the CPS, regardless of labour status in line with social assistance programmes in which citizens pool old age income risk.
The guidelines and framework for implementing the minimum guaranteed pension, she disclosed, are still being worked out by the Commission.
“The establishment of a uniform set of rules, regulations, and standards for the administration and payments of retirement benefits under the sole regulatory control of the Commission would also help to avert the credibility crisis that characterised the old pension scheme and some social security programmes.”