The Federal Government has mandated all workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme to produce their National Identification Numbers as part of their pension requirements.
The National Pension Commission disclosed this in a circular titled, ‘Notice on mandatory use of National Identification Number for all existing RSA holders’, on Wednesday.
The circular read, “The Federal Government has made it mandatory that every Nigerian must have a National Identification Number.
“To achieve this, all data generating organisations have been directed to harmonise their database with the National Identity Management Commission, whose mandate is to implement the National Identity System in Nigeria.
“To enable the pension industry comply, PenCom has directed all Pension Fund Administrators to update the records of their clients. Consequently, all Retirement Savings Account holders, both active and retired, are hereby advised to approach their PFAs to provide their NINs and Bank Verification Numbers, as well as other mandatory biodata information.”
The Pension Reform Act mandates every employer with a minimum of three employees to open an RSA for the workers, which would be funded by both employer and employees.
The employer is required to pay 10 per cent while the workers are required to contribute eight per cent of total monthly emolument.
Under the CPS, the PFAs manage the funds which are in the custody of the Pension Fund Custodians.
The acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, said that the assets under the CPS had continued to rise.
“It is now 14 years since the introduction of the CPS and I am pleased to note that appreciable progress has been made,” she said
According to her, the statistics are clear evidence that the CPS has greatly improved access to retirement benefits for employees in both the public (Federal Government) as well as the private sectors.
The PenCom boss also stated that the pension scheme had helped to improve the issue of funding even though some work were still needed in that regard.
The President, PenOp, Mrs Aderonke Adedeji, noted that the issue of the role of pension funds in economic development had moved into the focus of public attention, particularly with regard to Nigeria’s growing need for long-term capital.
She explained that successful mobilisation of pension fund assets and contributions to the economic growth of any nation were essential policy objectives.
“For the first time, our country can now boast of a long-term funding base and the impact to date has included the funding of the government and government projects, development of the capital market as well as increased foreign development inflows,” she added.
While this is positive, Adedeji said a note of caution must be raised in view of recent agitations to access the funds for infrastructure.
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“In principle, the industry has no objections to funding infrastructure. In fact, there are benefits to doing so. However, it must be understood that such investments must be in well structured and credit-worthy instruments. The position is enshrined in the law and supported by PenCom regulations,” she added.