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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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PenOp Projects N14.8tn Pension Funds by End of 2022

Mr. Olumide Oyetan President, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has projected that pensions funds in Nigeria will hit the N14.8 trillion mark by the end of 2022, from N14.6 trillion recorded as at September 30, 2022.

Oyekan said at a media retreat for pension editors in Lagos that pension is a sensitive subject, hence the need for the right information to be made available to members of the public.

“Pension is a sensitive subject and providing the right information to the public is important. And we have a big responsibility to get it right. Our responsibility today is how to sustain the success recorded so far. Pension should be relevant to the lives of people.”

Oyetan, who is also the Managing Director/CEO of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, emphasised the need for stakeholders to work together to ensure successful implementation of the guidelines on using Retirement Savings Account (RSA) to access their equity contributions for the acquisition of residential mortgage.

He said successful implementation of the initiative would improve people’s welfare and move the country forward.

Presenting the theme paper, Mr. Ibrahim Kangiwa, Head of Investment Department, National Pension Commission (PenCom), said for contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to be eligible to use their RSA balance for acquisition of residential mortgages, they must have contributed for five years (60 months) cumulative of employer and employee’s mandatory contributions.

He said the same thing was applicable to the contributors under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP), adding that married couples, who individually met the eligibility criteria, were also eligible.

On authorised limit for equity contribution that qualifies a contributor, Kangiwa put the maximum allowed at 25 per cent of the RSA balance, noting that “where 25 per cent of RSA balance is more than equity contribution, the RSA holder can only access the amount equivalent to equity contribution required.

“Where 25 per cent is not sufficient for equity contribution, RSA holder may utilise Voluntary Contribution (VC) in line with the Voluntary Contribution guidelines. Where 25 per cent is not sufficient for equity contribution, Micro Pension (MP) contributor may utilise contingency portion in line with MP guidelines. Where 25 per cent is insufficient as equity contribution, RSA holder shall deposit the difference with the mortgage lender,” Kangiwa explained.

Those exempted from this initiative, according to Kangiwa, include RSA holders that have less than three years to retirement; existing retirees on CPS; exempted persons under the PRA 2014 and RSA holders who do not have both employer and employee’s mandatory contributions for a cumulative minimum period of 60 months.

He said that equity contribution was not for refinancing existing mortgage, outright purchase of property and purchase of land, noting that the property shall be for residential purpose only.

Kangiwa said the objective of the initiative was to provide housing for first time home-owners and improve the standard of living of RSA holders under the CPS by facilitating their ownership of residential homes during their working life.

The retreat was themed: “Pension: An Opportunity to Own Your Own Home, An X-Ray of the New RSA Plan on Home Ownership.”

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