PFAs Pay N1.63trn Lump Sum to 442,000 Retirees in 15yrs – PenOp
The Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) said that the pension industry paid N1.63 trillion as lump sum to 442,000 retirees as at the second quarter of the year.
It also said that they were paid through programme withdrawals and annuity products PenOp serves as the umbrella body for Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in Nigeria, ensuring the smooth operation of the pension system in the country.
Mr Oguche Agudah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), PenOp, said this at a media parley with the title, “At the Dawn of 20 Years of Pension Reform, Ehat are the Gains?”, held in Lagos.
During the same period, N665.13 billion was paid to 111,708 applicants in lump sum payments for life annuities while N964.24 billion was disbursed to 330,201 retirees.
The CEO said that under the reformed pension scheme, 475,000 Nigerians, who lost their jobs, received 25 per cent of their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs), amounting to N208.86 billion.
Agudah said that the pension industry also prioritises the well-being of the beneficiaries of deceased employees.
He noted that under the period review, N356.32 billion was paid out as death benefits to 91,214 beneficiaries, compared to N6.31 billion disbursed to 2,896 beneficiaries in the same period in 2011.
He further said that industry had responded to the housing needs of pensioners by treating 649 applications and approving N7.89 billion payment for equity contributions towards residential mortgages.
According to him, the Asset Under Management (AUM) for the pension industry as at the period amounted to N17.35 trillion.
Agudah said the figure reflected a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.32 per cent since 2007 when the AUM stood at N815.18 billion.
He explained that the contributions from the public and private sectors had increased, reaching N9.37 trillion in the second quarter of 2023.
This, he said, represented a 54 per cent rise, noting that the PFAs had invested N7.98 trillion, resulting in a 46 per cent investment return.
He noted that the pension fund were doing alot in infrastructure, equity market and corporate debt securities.
The PenOp boss said since its establishment in 2004, the pension industry had been subject to robust regulation and protection, ensuring transparency and accountability within the scheme.
These measures, he maintained, had contributed to the industry’s success in safeguarding pension funds and providing retirees with reliable income streams.
“The pension industry in Nigeria has recorded enormous transformation and progress in the last twenty years,” he said.
In his remark, Dr Ehimeme Ohioma Head, Surveillance Department, National Pension Commission(PenCom), said that adequacy and sustainability are the two key critical to the success of the pension industry.
“Monthly pension must be adequate enough to sustain the pensioners after retirement for a long period of time.
“We must also ensure that the pension fund earn good Return on Investment (ROI) and the RoI is above the inflation rate,” he said.
Ohioma noted that the pension scheme had come to stay and could not be reversed because the industry players had maintained a high standard over time to sustain the successes achieved.
He stated that in 2024, the industry would improve on its service delivery, upgrade the skills of its professionals and invest the pension fund on more secured investment portfolios. Naira Devaluation Deepens Economic Crisis in Nigeria
Following inefficiencies of the Nigerian pension system, under the Defunt Benefits Scheme (DBS), the Federal Government under the leadership of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, introduced the Pension Reform Act (PRA) of 2004.
The Act became necessary to ensure that uniform regulations and standards apply to the administration of retirement benefits for the private and the public sectors, as well as to ensure that individuals save towards catering for their old age.