Uche Usim, Abuja
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Monday continued its 2019 verification and enrolment exercise for employees of Federal Government Treasury-Funded Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) due to retire between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
The Spokesman of the Commission, Peter Aghahowa in a chat with journalists at the Women Development Center, Abuja, venue of the event said the exercise remains vital as it enables the government to determine its pension liabilities each year and make adequate budgetary provisions for it.
According to him, the potential retirees have been adequately sensitised on the necessary documents to bring for the verification exercise, after which they will be captured electronically in PenCom’s database.
He said the National Identity Number (NIM) remains very vital for any prospective retiree to complete the enrollment process.
Aghahowa said that representatives of various MDAs were present at the verification site to make the process seamless since they are to identify their staff and verify the documents with them.
He said: “This is an exercise for workers of treasury-funded MDAs that will retire in 2020. What we do is verification and enrollment. You come with relevant documents that will be verified. Agency representatives are also here to identify their staff.
“We will compute what their benefits are so that government can adequate budgetary provisions for it. Records of service will help in this regard. Our work ends there and it’s up to the Federal Government to make the funding available. Their pension will be incorporated into the 2020 budget. Ours is to determine what the liabilities are and government provides the fund,” he explained.
On existing backlog of unpaid pensions, Aghahowa said “it is being cleared. As the government releases funds, we clear the backlog.
“Our last payment was for August 2018, so we have about a year outstanding.
“That is why this verification is an annual exercise for those that will retire the coming year. We determine the pension liabilities well ahead of time” he added.
For those not captured in the ongoing exercise, Aghahowa the verification and enrollment will continue in its offices nationwide.
“If you’re medically unfit, or you are not around for one reason or the other to be part of this two-day exercise, there’s a process in place to verify and enrol you. Anyone not captured can come to our office for it.
“Once this process is done, they have to go to their PFA on the mode of retirement benefits they want. Their accrued rights ought to have been paid by then toom
“Let them get their NIM because by law, it’s mandatory and now integrated into the system. It’s one of the requirements at the PFA level” he explained.
Just recently, PenCom launched the Enhanced Contributor Registration system (ECRS) of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to capture Nigerians living overseas who want to be part of Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS).
According to PenCom, the ECRS has been integrated with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) for authentication of the uniqueness of individuals seeking to register under the CPS.
It said: “The ECRS is an electronic platform for the submission of requests by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) for the registration of contributors and issuance of Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Consequently the Commission has transited from the use of the existing Contributor Registration System (CRS) to the ECRS.
“The ECRS provides a more dynamic and friendly user Interface and fully addresses the issues identified with the CRS. The deployment of the ECRS will greatly enhance the integrity of contributors’ data and also provide a platform for the following:
“Registration of Micro Pension Plan Participants and Cross Border individuals (i.e. participants living abroad and foreigners living in Nigeria wishing to participate in the CPS).
“Electronic submission of employer code requests by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) on employers and the full automation of the process of issuing employer codes.
“Updates and edits of contributors’ information on the National Databank maintained by the National Pension Commission by the PFAs. The deployment of the ECRS is a major step towards the introduction of the transfer window, which will enable contributors change to the PFAs of their choice, in line with Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014″, PenCom explained.