The pension industry needs rapid deployment of information and communications technology to achieve its target of 20 million contributors by 2019.
This was part of the 9-Point communiqué at the end of the Annual Retreat for Media Practitioners organised by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in Calabar, Cross River State.
Other recommendations in the communiqué include:
- To adequately capture the informal sector, there is need for the pension industry to carry out lots of enlightenment campaigns on the scheme through trade associations and unions, while media has a greater role to play in pension propagation.
- Pension operators must be aggressive in the marketing of pension products and services, so as to grow the pension contributors to 20 million by 2019. Here, there is a call for attractive incentives for subscribers so that more people can key into this scheme.
- The need to drive the pension scheme through information technology is regarded as germane to its success.
- Moreover, there is the need for consistency in government policies for co-ordination and investment of pension assets in infrastructure.
- There is need for bankable projects to enable pension operators invest in infrastructure
- Reliable investment templates should be developed for injection of pension funds in real sector.
- For pension funds to be invested in the energy sector there is need for correct and adequate database of power users.
- Insurance and pension operators as well as regulators are expected to address the issue of demarketing of Programmed Withdrawals and Annuity.
- The media are required to verify any information they have on pension matters before reporting it in their various media, as bad information can lead to negative perception about pension. Balanced and fair reporting, according to the participants, is what is needed to enhance the sensitisation and understanding of the scheme.
The participants applauded PenCom for organising the seminar as part of its sensitisation exercise to deepen pension penetration and reportage in the country.
The participants believe that with increased pension education and sensitisation on the CPS and micro-pension, the target of 20 million pension contributors by 2019 is achievable.
Furthermore, the media practitioners agreed that there is still low awareness on pension matters, hence calling for improved awareness by relevant stakeholders on the CPS, in order to grow the pension assets and contributors.
The training provided more clarity and deepened the knowledge of journalists about the Contributory Pension Scheme who promised to apply the knowledge acquired to enlighten the Nigerian public about pension issues.
The regulator was equally mandated to extend enforcement of pension scheme to media houses so that they can remit monthly contributions as and when due.
In the same vein, PenCom was advised to set aside 1-5 per cent of its annual budget for media workshop, seminars and other forms of trainings.
PenCom was also asked to carry the media along in its foreign travels and seminars in order to broaden their knowledge and create news for the media.