The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has said that 11 states in the country are yet to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) due to resistance from labour unions and state government.
Mr. Babatunde Philips, Head, States Operation Department, PenCom, disclosed this at the 2019 Journalists Workshop in Benin, Edo State, adding that only 25 out of the 36 states in Nigeria have enacted the CPS law.
Philips said that despite the 25 states announced by the commission, only Lagos, Kaduna, FCT, Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Ekiti, Osun, and Delta state are actively implementing the scheme while nine states including FCT have commenced implementation and remittance of both employer and employee pension contributions.
Speaking on the theme, “Expanding coverage of the pension industry”, he emphasized the need for states to embrace the CPS as it offers numerous opportunities for state governments to access available pension fund to deepen infrastructural development in their states among other benefits.
“The contributory pension scheme stands as a legacy against old age poverty, as well as enhances the integrity of state governments’ payroll,” Philips said.
He noted that lack of political will by the state executive governors, inadequate funding, knowledge gap and partial implementation are the challenges hindering the implementation of the CPS in these states.
“The right of states to enact their own pension laws had been a clog in wheel of progress as some states delay in enactment of their laws. The lack of political will by some state executive governors had also hindered the implementation as the decision more or less depends on the states’ governors.
“Inadequate funding of the CPS in some states that had implemented the scheme had negatively impacted on the smooth implementation of the scheme.
“Resistance to the implementation of the scheme by state officials and labour unions due to poor understanding of the scheme has delayed the adoption of the scheme by states not on the scheme.
“Partial implementation where deduction and remittances of only employee portion, deduction and non/incomplete remittances among others by some states leads to wide dissatisfaction and resistance of the CPS”, he pointed out.
Commenting on steps towards ensuring full implementation of the CPS in states, he said these includes; “the enactment of the state pension law, establishment of state pension bureau, commencement of actuarial valuation to determine accrued rights of employees, opening of Retirement Saving Account (RSA ), for all eligible employees, issuance of retirement benefit bonds to eligible employees amongst others”.
Earlier in her opening address, Aisha Dahir-Umar, Acting Director General, PenCom, said that the commission over the years has remained focused on its objectives in ensuring the conclusion of the pension industry transformational initiative, adding that the commission is out to get players of the informal sector through the micro pension plan which was launched by the President in March, 2019.