The Acting Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahiru-Umar, has said that the commission recovered N14.76 billion outstanding pension contributions and penalties.

Dahiru-Umar disclosed this at a one-day interactive session with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on “Challenges and Future Outlook of the Pension Reform Act (PRA 2014)” on Tuesday in Lagos

Represented at the forum by the commission’s Head of Compliance Department, Mr Aliu Bwala, the PenCom boss explained that the amount, which was recovered by an appointed agent, comprised N7.53 billion principal contributions and N7.23 billion as penalties respectively.

She said that the entire amount was credited into the workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs).

Dahiru-Umar hinted further that the penalty was meant to compensate the workers for the income that would have been earned, if the principal contributions were remitted as and when due.

She explained: “The recovery exercise which has been largely successful has boosted the confidence of contributors and encouraged employers to embrace the CPS. We would like to again thank NECA and its members for their cooperation in the course of the recovery exercise.

The commission’s director general disclosed also the pension industry had transited from a deficit of over N2 trillion in 2004 to accumulated pension fund asset worth over N8.23 trillion, with registered membership of 8.14 million as at July 2018.

Speaking on the commission’s mandate of supervising the transfer of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) contributions of employees into their respective RSAs under the CPS, the pension management expert said that out of 1,2 million that transited from the NSITF to the CPS, only 136,377 had applied for transfer of their contributions into their RSAs to date.

Dahiru-Umar said: “That number is a far cry from the over 1.2 million workers that transited from the NSITF Scheme to the CPS.

“To address the challenge of contributor apathy, the commission had severally featured advertorials in National Dailies requesting NSITF contributors to apply for the transfer of their contributions into their RSAs.

“I implore all employers to encourage their employees who have contributed to the NSITF Scheme to liaise with the PFAs and, in particular, Trustfund Pensions, for guidance on how to have their contributions transferred to their RSAs.

“Members who contributed to the NSITF Scheme can also visit the commission’s website for the guidelines on the transfer of NSITF contributions,” she added.