The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that the Micro Pension Scheme which the Federal Government recently approved its operational guidelines, is expected to attract over N3 trillion into the nations Pension Assets and capture about 12 million contributors within five years.
According to the commission, the federal government has set January 2019 as the month of commencement of the new scheme that seeks to end poverty at old age and ensure that Nigerians live better lives after retirement.
The scheme aims to capture the informal sector who are not already on the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) into the nation’s pension basket, thereby growing the economy and driving financial inclusion.
PenCom disclosed this at the 2018 Media Retreat organised by the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), held in Lagos recently.
Speaking on behalf of the commission, the Head, Research & Corporate Strategy, PenCom, Farouk Aminu, stated that with the recent approval, the scheme would boost the growth of pension assets in the country.
He maintained that the scheme was positioned to capture people in the informal sector of the economy and expand the reach of the new pension scheme.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, PenOp, Susan Oranye, stressed that although the pension funds have grown to N8.2 trillion, with number of contributors at about 8 million, the country’s huge population of over 160 million people indicates a lot of potential in the pension industry.
She maintained that the scheme will explore the potential in the pension industry by driving the players in the informal sector to join contributory pension through the micro pension plan.
She said: “When more people subscribe to the plan, it will increase the pension assets, hence, allowing pension fund operators to invest more funds for economic growth and development.
Head, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Peter Aghahowa, said the micro pension scheme was made flexible for potential contributors, as the method of contribution would be decided by the contributors.
“Contributors are to choose whether they want to contribute daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, and anybody who is 16 years and above is eligible to join this scheme,” he said.
He stressed that PenCom as the regulator is working jointly with the operators in the pension industry to ensure the seamless operation of the scheme.
Also, the Managing Director, ARM Pension Managers, Wale Odutola, said that pension operators are ready to commence business when the scheme finally kicks off in January 2019.
According to him, all modalities have been put in place by the commission and the association to make sure the industry bring all working Nigerians into the scheme and at same time, grow the pension assets above the N8.23trillion.
He added that the operators before now had to set up two committees to review the guidelines and come out with plans on how the industry can harness the potentials of the micro pension scheme.
Speaking further, he noted that pension operators plans to use the deployment of agents and technology to drive the micro pension scheme, as the distribution channels has been identified as major tools to harnessing the opportunities in the informal sector.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN