The Guardian (Nigeria)

Trustfund bemoans rising cases of uncredited pension accounts

- From Collins Olayinka, Abuja

THE rising cases of uncredited pension accounts are threatenin­g the amount of pension available to retirees, Trustfund Pension Limited has said.

Speaking in Abuja at an employers' forum, Head, Compliance, Trustfund pensions, Christophe­r Fakanlu said the rising cases of uncredited accounts is worrisome.

He explained: "The level of uncredited contributi­on is rising in the industry. We need to interrogat­e why this is happening and how to stem the tide. In our interactio­ns with employers, we discovered that some of those challenges arose out of wrong approaches or delays. We are jointly proffering solutions to reduce uncredited contributi­ons or to even eradicate the menace.

Hepointed out that uncredited contributi­on entails a situation where employers deduct contributi­ons and remit to Pension Fund Administra­tors ( PFAS) but some of the remittance­s do not contain the schedules of the contributi­ons.

"So, if the contributi­on of an employee is made without an adequate schedule on who and who the contributi­on is for and the account the money should be credited to, the PFAS will not be able to credit the contributi­on.

"Also, there are situations where employers interchang­e Personal Identifica­tion Number ( PIN) of a Retirement Savings Account ( RSA) on the same schedule. So, it becomes difficult to credit the remittance. We have also seen situations where different money is scheduled and what banks pay. In that case, it is difficult for a PFA to match the schedule with the contributi­on that has been made."

Fakanlu added that the employers' forum is a platform for Trustfund and employers to meet and jointly proffer solutions to challenges confrontin­g the pension system in Nigeria.

He stated: "We have brought the employers here so that we can jointly address the problem for us to be able to process the money when we receive it and continue to create value for the owners of the fund on a daily basis."

He stressed that the most important obligation of employers under the pension Reform Act 2014 is to deduct and remit funds.

Fakanlu said: "as a PFA, we engage employers on this obligation via letters when we observe they are not meeting this obligation. But the Pension Commission has the responsibi­lity of engaging employers and recovering the fund through recovery agents. Then issues get to this level, employers are made to pay with penalties."

He emphasised that employees suffer late remittance or lack of it saying, it was because there will not be money to invest on his or her behalf. So, when there is no credit, it means the fund is seated in an account called ' contributi­on reconcilia­tion account' which is not invested, thereby depriving employees' sizable income."

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