The National Pension Commission Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria and other pension fund administrators say they are currently deploying different strategies to ensure that about 49 million Nigerians in the informal sector participate in the Micro Pension Plan (MPP).
Daily Trust reports that the micro pension plan was formally launched by former President Muhammadu Buhari to encourage and bring the informal sector into the contributory pension scheme to save for their retirement.
The stakeholders in the pension sector stated this yesterday in Abuja while speaking at a stakeholders conference tagged ‘Micro pension in a digitized economy: Prospects and challenges’.
In her address, the Director General of the National Pension Commission, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the commission has noted that the current economic challenges are discouraging people from voluntary contributions but noted that the regulator is devising means to ensure that investments are not affected by key economic indices, especially inflation.
The PenCom DG, who was represented by Mr. Ibrahim Buwai, an assistant general manager in the commission, added that efforts are on to ensure that inflation index investments come onstream.
He said the commission is liaising with the Debt Management Office for inflation index bonds that will not be affected by the rising inflation currently experienced by the country.
In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of PenOP, Oguche Aguda stated that Nigeria has about the largest informal sector workers, hence the need for the plan to be implemented robustly to assist these workers in saving for their future.
Oguche who was represented by Mayomikun Obadofin, project management lead at PenoP said “The Association have rolled out some such as compounded interest overtime which differs from normal interest as well as the 40 per cent contingency withdrawal which is done in the circumstance,”
She added that “Operators are in the process of expanding benefits of micro pension to health insurance, which means as long as you are saving from your micro pension account, you are entitled to your health insurance,”
Similarly, the unit head, micro pensions (North) at Access pensions, Zuwaira Haliru said pension fund administrators have realized the relevance of sensitization in the successful implementation of the micro pension scheme which is why “The PFA is taking the campaign to markets and other informal settings to communicate the benefits and why people should participate”
Also speaking, the managing director/CEO of Premium Pension, Umar Sanda Mairami said the PFA has paid over N300bn to Retirement Savings Account holders from inception till date noting that the micro pension plan being an offshoot of the contributory pension scheme will ensure that the informal sector is not left out in the pension policies of the government.