Trustfund Pensions said it has grown its retirees’ funds to N536 billion within the space of its operation, describing the growth as remarkable.
This is even as the pension funds administrator (PFA) stated that pensioners will now receive pensions for life, irrespective of their age after retirement.
Trustfund had closed 2017 with N475 billion and grew the fund to N518 billion at the close of 2018.
Regional manager of Trustfund Pensions, Obiora Ozoekwem, at a sensitisation programme for pensioners in Lagos last week, explained that 717,000 employees have also registered for the scheme.
He said that private sector operators have been diligent in complying with the Pension Act, which stipulated that employers should contribute 10 per cent and employees 8 per cent.
He lamented that government has been a hurdle in the progress of the scheme, as some states were yet to key in, while others, including the Federal Government, were only contributing 7.5 per cent.
“The states are not moving the way we expected with the scheme, but we can’t force them because we are running federalism, moreso it is election year and most things are put on hold,” he said.
Ozoekwem stated that new developments in the scheme are now in favour of the contributors as they move into retirement.
He said, “Contributors are easily being deceived or there’s this wrong notion that contributors’ pension would finish some years after retirement. But the fact is that the money invested keeps growing every year and if for any reason by omission error occurs, PFA would continue to make provisions until the issue is resolved.
“Now it is pension for life. Unlike annuity, PFA does not hold the money, if anything happens to the PFA, the money is secured with the custodians and their parent bodies are UBA, First Bank, Zenith and Access, whose link with CBN gives further guarantee for the funds. This is because the CBN has to collapse before the pension fund goes missing.”
The Trustfund regional manager also said part of the new facilities allows retirees who are not tired and still working to continue contributing into their retiree’s accounts as voluntary contributions.
He said the additional voluntary contributions would be paid whole after final retirement, while the previous pension continues.
“In annuity, once a retiree has been paid up to 10 years, the next of kin has nothing; but in PFA, after death, everything in the account will be calculated and given enblock to the next of kin,” he said.