The National Pension Commission has revealed that of the 9.2 million retirement savings accounts in the country, 38 percent, which is about 3.5 million were empty as at the end of 2020 in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
PenCom disclosed this in its latest fourth quarter 2020 report obtained by our Blueprint.
The agency said majority of these unfunded accounts were owned by state governments’ employees and those in the employ of private sector organisations.
Reeling out the number of defaulting states, PenCom said workers in Osun, Anambra and their local governments, Delta State and its local government, FCT Area Councils, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue were still waiting for the backlog of their pension as at December 2020.
The agency further revealed that after carrying out an off-site review of the implementation of the CPS in seven (7) States namely; Ekiti, Delta, Osun, Lagos, Ondo, Edo and Kebbi, it was discovered that there were gaps in the monthly pension remittances to the RSAs of employees.
“We observed delay in the payment of accrued rights to retirees. There were also issues of inaccurate data on schedules accompanying pension remittances and other reconciliation issues,” PenCom said.
What this implies is that many workers were set to retire with nothing to fall back on in their old age.
In a reaction, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), called for the review of the CPS to make it an impeachable offence for any state governor or employer who didn’t remit monthly pension to the Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) of their employees.
NUP Head of Information Comrade Bunmi Ogunkolade told Blueprint that such law would guard against the practice by employers not remitting money deducted from employees.
Ogunkolade, however, blamed both PFAs and Pencom for their inability to punish employers defaulting on the remittance.
“It is the fault of the PFA and Pencom, because if I am working for the state government now, and you are aware of my level and I may be registered with IBTC pension, my remittances should be monthly, since i am collecting my salary monthly.
“So, if they don’t see it, what are they supposed to do? They don’t want to fight the state government. That’s why we are saying the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) should be reviewed.
“If they can’t scrap it now there should be a very strict law that makes deductions and remittances be done, they can even make it an impeachable offence even for state governors. You deducted workers’ money and did not remit same to the PFAs.
“The workers will contribute, and the employer is supposed to also make her contribution. But the state will deduct from the employees and they will not add their own, neither will they remit into their employees account which they deducted,” he said.