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New Leaders at Kaduna State PFA Forum

The Kaduna State PFA Forum has elected new leaders at its general meeting of 7th July 2021 held at the premises of Premium Pensions in Kaduna.

The outgoing leaders, led by Mr. Sunday Iortyange, came into office. as pioneer exco, in August 2018 and have in the last three (3) years made effort to improve cohesion, professionalism and service delivery.

The organization has been collaborated with the government of Kaduna state, through the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, with the aim of increasing pension awareness and making retirement of civil servants in the state seamless.

The new Executive Committee, comprise the following practitioners:
Idowu OyegunleChairman – Idowu Oyegunle

Vice Chairman – Mohammed Sadiq Kumo
Secretary – Abdulkadir Ibrahim
Assistant Secretary – Ibrahim Abdullahi
Public Relations Officer – Musa Madaha
Financial Secretary – Maryam Hammanyero
Treasurer – Marietta Ndu

The committee will serve a tenure of one year.

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PenCom & NAICOM sign guidelines for insurance products

PenComThe Programmed Withdrawal (PW) is a producNAICOMt of Pension FundAdministrators (PFAs) for their retiring clients.  Retire Life Annuity (RLA) on the other hand is a product of insurance companies meant for retirees.

The PFAs interface directly with employees from inception of their careers, managing their contributions up to the time of exit.  The insurance companies can only market and sell their annuity product to those who are retiring.

The Pension Reforms Act (PRA) 2014 provides in “Section 7(1) that a holder of a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) shall, upon retirement or attaining the age of 50 years, whichever is later, utilise the amount credited to his retirement savings account for withdrawal of a lump sum from the total amount credited to his RSA provided that the amount left after the lump sum withdrawal shall be sufficient to procure a programmed fund withdrawals or annuity for life in accordance with extant guidelines  by PenCom, from time to time; Programmed monthly or quarterly withdrawals calculated on the basis of an expected life span; and annuity for life purchased from a life insurance company licensed by NAICOM with monthly or quarterly payments in line with guidelines jointly issued by PenCom and NAICOM.’’

Over time (now in the past), employees of both PFAs and insurance companies have been at each other, de-marketing the opposite products.

This prompted the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to sign Revised Regulation on Retiree Life Annuity, the Guidelines on Group Life Insurance Policy for employees and CPS retiree pack.

The revised Regulations and Guidelines, signed on Monday, 31st August 2020, provide clarity on the provisions of the PRA 2014 in areas relating to Retiree Life Annuity with focus on guiding stakeholders to make informed decisions, ensure safety of Retiree Life Annuity funds and assets, address concerns of mis-selling and de-marketing by pension and insurance operators as well as increasing stability into the financial sector of the economy.

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Pencom to initiate the review of the Pension Reform Act 2014

The Pension Reform Act (PRA) was enacted on 1 July 2004; after 10 years of successful implementation, it was PenComrepealed by the PRA 2014 on 1st July 2014.

The Pension Reform Act 2014 has consolidated earlier amendments to the 2004 Act, which were passed by the National Assembly. These include:
1. The Pension Reform (Amendment) Act 2011 which exempts the personnel of the
2. Military and the Security Agencies from the CPS
3. The Universities (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2012, which reviewed the retirement age and benefits of University Professors.
4. The 2014 Act has incorporated the Third Alteration Act, which amended the 1999 Constitution by vesting jurisdiction on pension matters in the National Industrial Court.

The major highlights between the PRA 2004 and PRA 2014 include:
1. Under the repealed Act, the contribution base for an employee and employer were 7.5% of the employee’s monthly emoluments respectively; however, the Act provides for an employee and employer contribution base of 8% and 10% of the employee’s monthly emoluments respectively. Where the employer opts to bear the full responsibility of both contributions, he would pay a minimum of 20% of the employee’s emoluments. This deduction is made before applying PAYE.
2. The Act applies to employees in both the private and public sectors. There greater participation of Private organizations
3. The Act places an attempt to commit a pension offence on the same pedestal with actual commission of the offence. It stipulates the same penalty for an attempt to commit an offence and the actual commission of the said offence. The Act stipulates increased and stringent penalties for misappropriation. Upon conviction, a pension fraudster will be liable to a minimum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of three (3) times the amount misappropriated and forfeiture of assets and funds in his/her control to the Federal Government.
4. The Act now incorporate fine upon conviction, where a PFC fails to hold funds to the exclusive preserve of the PFAs and PenCom.
5. Furthermore, the courts vested with jurisdiction can lift the veil of incorporation when necessary to punish directors of corporate bodies involved in any of these offences.
6. Under the new Act, aggrieved employees and parties can approach the Commission, the Federal and State High Courts as well as the National Industrial Court to seek redress. This is an improvement on the former Act which provided arbitrator tribunals and the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) as the mediums of dispute resolution.
7. An employee who has lost his job and is under the age of retirement can now access the funds if after 4 months from disengagement he/she is still unemployed. The waiting period under the old Act was 6 months.

Various remedial sanctions and corrective measure were either introduced or enhanced in addition to Pencom’s punitive powers to revoke the licences of erring PFAs and PFCs. These were all in effort to fortify the pension assets against mismanagement and systemic risks. As at the end of May 2020, the assets under the scheme rose to N10.8 trillion.

On 30 July 2020, PenCom’s Head of Corporate Communication, in a statement in Abuja, made known that PenCom is set to initiate a review of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014. He said some challenges were subsequently encountered in the implementation of certain sections of PRA 2014, and that a review would help to reposition the CPS and consolidate the gains of the pension reforms for the benefit of Nigerians.

It is expected that the review will incorporate inputs from social partners, pension industry operators, financial regulators and other relevant stakeholders.

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PenCom to open transfer window

PenComIn a statement on Thursday 13th August 2020, PenCom said in line with Section 13 of the Pension Reform Act 2014, the transfer system, which is a robust electronic platform that would enable seamless RSA transfers and aid Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to submit RSA transfer requests, is underway and may go operational by the end of the year.

Before the covid-19 pandemic took centre-stage, the system was planned to go live in June 2020; it is now expected to take-off at the end of 2020, after extensive training of industry-wide stakeholders.

“The opening of the transfer window will facilitate full and equitable pension assets portability within the pension industry, enhance ethical competition amongst the PFAs and improve service delivery to RSA holders”.

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New Appointments at Kaduna State Pension Bureau

Professor Salamatu Idris Isah
Salamatu Isah
Esther Alibaba
Esther Alibaba

The Kaduna State Pension Bureau was birthed in 2016 by the Kaduna State Pension Law 2016 to regulate and supervise pension administration in the State.  The law brought together both the state and local government pension boards under the control of the Bureau.

Mr. Dan Ndackson was appointed as its first Executive Secretary; and by August 2018, Mrs. Esther Alibaba took over as the Acting Executive Secretary.

Dan Ndackson
Dan Ndackson

In a statement issued by the state government’s Special Adviser on Media & Communication on the 10th August 2020, new appointments at the Bureau were announced.

Mr. Dan Ndackson is now the Chairman while Professor Salamatu Idris Isah takes over as the Executive Secretary of the Bureau.

The statement said that the appointments take immediate effect.

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Kaduna Government Partners PFAs on Micro Pension

Kaduna StateThe Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 expanded coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to the self-employed and persons working in organizations with less than 3 employees. In this regard, the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) initiative has been conceived within the context of an industry wide strategy to bring this class of workers on board.

The Kaduna State Government adopted the contributory pension scheme for its workers in 2007; to ensure its success in the state, its implementation was reviewed in 2016, birthing a Bureau for more effectiveness administration.

In its proactive nature, the state government commenced joint meetings with Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) operating within the state on how best to reach out to the informal sectors and ensure that every individual in the state gets an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the pension scheme. The involvement of the state government will no doubt boost public confidence and acceptability thereby encouraging an upward surge in the number of subscribers and fund built up.

The MPP is flexible and allows a subscriber to make contributions of varying amounts and at varying periods, as best suits his or her cash flow. There is a 40% contingency provision from which the contributor can draw if the need arises; the 60% is reserved for pension at retirement.

While the collaboration continues between government and PFAs, private business individuals can walk into the offices of PFAs in the state and freely register for Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) without hassles.  The partnership from government, which is expected to be more in terms of sensitisation, will no doubt boost the confidence of the populace and the publicity will certainly encourage its teeming populace to open RSAs and fund their accounts accordingly.

How Micro Pension Works
How Micro Pension Works (courtesy PenCom)

 

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Providing Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the world wrestles the Coronavirus pandemic with yet a known cure in sight, we want to remind all stakeholders in Kaduna state to #TakeResponsibility, #StaySafe and obey official directives aimed at checking the spread of the virus, particularly in Kaduna state.

Stay indoors except for the vital purpose of restocking foodstuffs and other essential provisions on the days provided for that purpose.

If you must go out, remember to wear a face mask, maintain social distance of about 2 metres, avoid hugging, kissing, handshakes, and do not touch highly exposed items or surfaces. Wash your hands frequently with soap under running water and keep an alcohol-based hand-saniter handy for frequent use. Keep clothes, shoes, keys, money, phones and other items brought back home separate for cleaning, washing or sanitizing, including keeping under the sun where applicable.

If you have travelled from prone areas or have come in contact with persons suspected to be infected, please isolate yourself for at least 14 days.

If you have dry cough with sore throat and difficulty breathing, call the COVID-19 helpline for your state or the national emergency toll-free helpline 080097000010.

Remember, to source for information about COVID-19 only from official channels such as the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng, or from the World Health Organization  (WHO), https://who.int.

For your safety and that of others, offices of PFAs may be temporarily closed while the pandemic lasts.  They may however be available online and can be reached through the following channels.

  • Emails
  • Phones/SMS
  • WhatsApp
  • Etc.

If you have any questions and need some information relating to the PFA matters in Kaduna, you may please inbox us or visit our website at https://kadunapfaforum.org.ng

#TakeResponsibility #StayHome #StaySafe #FlattenTheCurve #KillCovid19

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Kaduna State Government Committed to Clearing Pension Liabilities

The Kaduna State Government has said it is resolute on seeking ways to meet liabilities relating to the outstanding pension benefits of its retirees. This was made known by the Executive Governor of the State, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai at a meeting between the government and pension fund administrators (PFAs) held at Government House Kaduna on Thursday, 5th March 2020.

Representatives of PFAs at the meeting
Representatives of PFAs at the meeting

The PFAs proferred several ideas that would assist the government in raising the much needed funds which would held resolve the issue of outstanding payments, including the possibility of a sinking fund and floating a bond. The governor however said his government would like the PFAs to consider possibilities outside the suggestions made.

For retirees whose benefits have been processed pending their conclusion of the on-going data recapture across the federation, the PFAs said compliance on the part of the retiring staff has been painstakingly slow but progressive and that in collaboration with the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, sensitization had kicked-off in February 2020 to ensure that both active and retiring employees understand the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) better. The sensitization, it is believed, will go a long way in ensuring that processes of benefit administration are comprehended and easily complied with.

It will be recalled that the state government, in order to strengthen the CPS in Kaduna State reviewed the pension law in March 2016, establishing the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, presently led by Mrs. Esther Alibaba as its Acting Executive Secretary. This brought about a new pension regime effective January 2017 and the state has since been making concerted efforts to tackle all related issues. These efforts have severally met with many teething problems that would normally surface when any meaningful employer pursues reforms with the aim of finding ways to better the lot of its workforce.

Attendees at the meeting included the governor, his deputy, the head of service, chief of staff, secretary to the state government, the commissioner of finance, the permanent secretary (finance), Special adviser to the governor on Special duties, the acting executive secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau, and a host of others.

A cross-section of PFAs at the meeting
A cross-section of PFAs at the meeting

The PFAs, led by the Chairman of the Kaduna State PFA Forum, Mr. Sunday Iortyange, were all represented at the meeting. Top practitioners who also attended were the MD/CEO of Premium Pensions and other Management staff from Sigma Pensions, APT Pensions and Premium Pensions.

His Excellency, the Governor, with some representatives of PFAs
His Excellency, the Governor, with some representatives of PFAs

An adhoc committee, with proposed membership from the state government, PFAs and the national regulator, PenCom, has been proposed by His Excellency, the Governor, to deliberate on the ways forward and report back within four weeks.

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COVID-19: Basic Protective Measures

There have been varying experiences with different diseases and emergencies over time. Some of the health emergencies of the past have been dwarfed by more recent happenings including HIV, Ebola and Lassa. In the last week of December 2019, another health emergency threatened to bring the world to its knees – the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)! With the confirmation of the first positive case in Nigeria on 27th February 2020, it has become necessary to lend voice to its prevention and re-echo the protective measures issued by WHO.

Protect yourself and others from getting sick

Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

Follow the guidance outlined above.
Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

When to use a mask
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.

COVID-19: Guide on how to correctly wear the mask
Guide on how to correctly wear the mask

Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask

Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

See the Novel Coronavirus Map

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ASUP, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, hosts Pension Sensitisation

Hungry for detailed and accurate knowledge about the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), the staff of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria under the auspices of its academic staff union, ASUP, beckoned on the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Kaduna State Pension Bureau from to help them understand better the rudiments of the Contributory Pension Scheme.

By way of response, a joint sensitisation event was held on Thursday, 27th February 2020 at the ICT Centre of the institution where representatives of PenCom, supported by the team from the Kaduna State Pension Bureau, did an excellent job, explaining in great detail, the CPS and the important indices relevant to the operations in Kaduna state, to the delight of all in attendance.

Pension Sensitisation at Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria
Members of ASUP, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic attending the sensitation programme

The invitation was extended to all PFAs operating in the state, through the platform of the Kaduna State PFA Forum. The role of the PFAs was to provide answers to PFA-specific questions and to provide support and after-sales services to their clients in the academic community.