Revised Nigeria Pension Guidelines Aim to Ease the Process
By Bashir Olanrewaju
A revised guidelines issued by the National Pension Commission has modified and simplified some of the processes related to accessing terminal benefits pension contributors.
The review is the first in 15 years, with new provisions on voluntary contributions, access to retirement savings due to job loss, payments covered in the micro-pension plan as well penalties for violations of extant rules. The objective is for a more efficient management of pension and benefits administration, according to Pencom.
Apart from making the documentation process easier, the revised regulations also address how to handle cases where employer’s that fail to confirm the status of their employees, when people can have access to lump some payments and new measures to initiate the process for payment ahead of retirement.
“Prior to this revision, a letter of acceptance of resignation or disengagement issued by the employer is mandatory for a pension contributor seeking payment of 25 percent for temporary loss of job,” the new guideline notes. “However, the Revised Regulation provides that where the employer fails/refuses to accept the resignation letter from the employee, the Pension Fund Administrator shall write the employer confirming the employee’s resignation and ensure that an acknowledgement copy is kept as proof of receipt.”
Non-response from the employer after 30 days will be deemed as an acceptance for the purpose of paying such an employee’s benefits, according to Pencom.
Those who already received lump sum payments, may be eligible for further lump sum payments where there are additional fund inflows from the employer, the guideline says.
For those in the private sector, benefits that accrued before the start of the contributory pension scheme can be withdrawn separately by the retiring employee, before putting in place a programmed withdrawal or an annuity, the new rules say.
Click here to see the revised guidelines.