By Rukayat Adeyemi
Lagos, Dec. 3, 2020 The National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Thursday said over 2,100 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders have applied to transfer their pension accounts from their current Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to another.
Mr Polycarp Anyanwu, Head, Information Communication Technology (ICT) unit, PenCom made the disclosure at the virtual 2020 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp,) media seminar for pension correspondents.
Anyanwu said the development followed the inauguration of the pension transfer window on Nov.16.
“Over 2,100 applications were submitted and received by the commission between Nov.16 and Nov. 30.
“The transfer window known as the Retirement Savings Account Transfer System (RTS) is in accordance with Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act, 2014.
“It permits contributors to move their RSA’s through a transfer window from PFA to another, provided that it is not more than once in a year,’’ he said.
According to him, most of the pension contributors seeking to switch to a new PFA were those who were not satisfied with the service delivery of their current pension fund handlers.
The ICT head noted that the development would no doubt, enhance quality service delivery of the PFAs to their clients and promote healthy competitions among the pension custodians.
He explained that the RTS window has four quarters in a year, which are March 31, June 30, Sept. 31 and Dec. 31 in which contributors can change their PFAs once within the year.
Anyanwu said that the over 2,100 applications received so far, would be processed for the Dec. 31, 2020 window.
“A month to the specified dates, the concerned pension fund operators must have submitted necessary documentation to the commission and notify it of the amount leaving its kitty and the RSA holders concerned.
“This is to give ample time for both PenCom, the affected PFA’s and the receiving PFA’s to plan ahead,’’ he said.
The ICT boss explained that the contributors, on its part, is expected to provide his or her fingerprint to serve as a consent and unique criteria to switch the PFAs.
“Although some pension fund operators may be on the losing end and some proactive ones winning the disgruntled contributors, the overall benefits, is to instill healthy competition among operators.
“This would, in turn, lead to better service delivery and improved investment returns on pension assets,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communications, PenCom, said that the commission expected full compliance of the PFA’s to the process of the transfer and improved business engagement within the pension industry.
Aghahowa said the opportunity would also give the RSA holders the right to determine which PFA managed their pension contributions and retirement benefits.
In his address, Mr Wale Odutola, President, PenOp, assured that the pension fund operators have put in place necessary requirement and upgraded their ICT systems to enhance a seamless pension account transfer.
Odutola, also Managing Director/CEO ARM Pension PFA, said the PFA’s was also concerned on better service delivery.
“I believe that this is a concept that will change service delivery in the entire pension industry landscape and benefit the contributors and Contributory Pension Scheme(CPS) retirees the most,’’ he said.
According to him, the ultimate goal is to grow the pension industry, make the pension funds have bigger impact on the economy, and give good investment returns to contributors, shareholders and relevant stakeholders.
The managing director said that the operators were a critical stakeholder in the process and would endeavor to make it work.