The National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has said that 70 per cent of the N12.7trn in the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) under the contributory pension scheme is owned by workers in the private sector.
The Commissioner, Administration of PENCOM, Dr Umar Farouk Aminu, said this on Thursday in Abuja at a Town Hall meeting on effective pension administration in the Public Service, organised by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
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According to him, the money was a contribution that belonged to 9.3m people working for the private sector as well as the federal and state governments.
Aminu, who represented the Director-General of PENCOM, Aisha Dahir-Umar, put the number of private-sector workers, who owned the bulk of the contribution as 5.8m.
His comments were on the backdrop of reservation against the suggestion to use pension contribution for the payment of pension of the federal government retirees.
He said: “When we talk of the N12.7trn I mentioned today, this money is a contribution that belongs to 9.3 million people, including people who are working for the federal government, the states and largely private sector.
“About 5.8m are actually people from the private sector.
“The private sector owns over 70 per cent of this money because they contribute more.
“When we remove the state, we can see that the amount that belong to the federal government employees and contributors is generally less than 10 to 20 per cent.
“So, we need to put this thing into perspective: that you can’t take private-sector money for the public sector because when we were talking about reform initially, there were contentious issues that we were confronted with by the private sector that we were going to take their money and use it for the public sector.”
He also said that the commission had cleared all pension arrears up till December 2020 from the N100bn which was approved last month by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On her part, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi- Esan, noted that there had been displeasure in the implementation of the contributory pension scheme and management of defined benefits scheme by serving and retired officers.
She said that this was why the government is committed to the amendment of the Pension Act 2004 as part of measures to address the challenges.