About two weeks after the commencement of the pension transfer window, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has revealed that over 2,100 contributors into the contributory pension scheme(CPS) have applied to move their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) from their current Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to new ones.
PenCom, disclosed this yesterday at the virtual 2020 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) retreat for journalists.
Head, ICT, PenCom, Mr. Polycarp Anyanwu, said, over 2,100 applications were submitted and received by the commission between 16th and 30th of November, 2020.
The transfer window known as Retirement Savings Account Transfer System (RTS) is an avenue created by the Pension Reform Act 2014 to enable contributors migrate from one PFA to another once in a year in the event of dissatisfaction with the services of a particular fund administrator.
Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 allows contributors to move their RSA through a transfer window from one PFA to another, provided that it is not more than once in a year.
Polycarp noted that, most of the pension contributors seeking a switch to a new PFAs were those who were not contented with the services of their current pension fund managers, a development which he said, will no doubt, enhance quality service delivery of the PFAs to their clients.
Explaining how the window operates, he said, “the RTS has four quarters in a year, which are; 31st of March, 30th of June, 31st of September, and 31st of December in which contributors can change their PFAs once in a year, adding that the over 2,100 applications received so far, would be processed for the 31st of December, 2020 window.”
According to him, a month to the above mentioned dates, the concerned pension fund operators must have submitted necessary documentation to the regulatory body, informing it of the amount leaving their kitty and the RSA holders concerned, so as to give ample time for both PenCom, the affected PFAs and the receiving PFAs to plan ahead.
On the part of the contributors, he said fingerprint, which serves as their consent, is a unique criteria to switch PFAs.
Although, he said it was expected that some pension fund operators would be on the losing end and some proactive ones winning the disgruntled contributors.
He added that, the overall benefits, was to instill healthy competition among operators, which would in return, lead to better service delivery and improved investment returns on pension assets.
Similarly, the head, Corporate Communications, PenCom, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, said, the activation of the RSA transfer process would engender competition and improve on the quality of service delivery in the pension industry,
He said contributors have the right to determine which PFA manages their pension contributions and retirement benefits.
Also addressing participants at the conference, the new president, PenOp, Mr. Wale Odutola, who is also the Managing Director/CEO, ARM Pension said, pension fund operators have done the necessary requirement by upgrading their IT systems in a bid to enhance seamless pension account transfer among operators.