Employers of labour are expected to remit all deducted pensions funds to the Pensions Fund Administrators (PFAs) within seven days, Trustfund Pensions Limited has said.
Speaking in Abuja recently at its customers’ interactive forum, Trustfund’s Customer Relationship Manager, Maha Longe, explained that late remittance of funds into PFAs account once, twice or quarterly by employers was against the provision of the Pensions Reforms Act 2014.
Her words: “It has been discovered that some employers actually remit but do it wrongly. Every employer is supposed to remit all deducted funds at the end of every month. The provision of the law is that they should remit to PFAs seven days after deducting.
“There are employers that remit quarterly, bi-annual or annually. This is wrong and at variance with the law guiding the contributory pension scheme. Late remittance leads to loss of income by retirees. Oftentimes, retirees complaint about low income when they retire which is caused by late remittance by employers.”
While cautioning employers against late remittance, Longe hinted that Trustfund now notifies the National Pensions Commission (Pencom) to report non-compliance for sanctions.
Explaining reasons for the inability of next of kin of dead retirees to access their accounts, Longe blamed it on refusal of retirees or even workers to update their records.
She added that the customers’ forum is used as an avenue by Trustfund to address update in biodata, change of bank details and upgrade of next of kin.
“Customers forum is used to upgrade the data of our customers. There are enrollees who want to change their husbands or wives names, their bank details, addresses, next of kin and other detailed information in their records.
“This is very important but unfortunately many workers and retirees do not care to do the needful until challenges come their way. Trustfund provides these forums for easy upgrade of information. We also use the forum to embark on periodical upgrade of biometric of all our enrollees. Biometrics are compulsory for all our old and new enrolees for easy administrative purposes.”
Trustfund Region Manager, North, Morris Oga, said the contributory pension scheme has brought stability to pension administration in the country.
He explained that absence of protests either by retirees or labour unions are a sign that the scheme is on the right track although not without rough edges that will smoothen in the course of implementation.
Also speaking, former Director General of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), Paul Bdliya, said while the amount was not too low, the prevailing economic circumstances in the country put pressure on retired workers who will want their retirement benefit increased in order to cope with economic pressure.
He lauded Trustfund Pensions for organising the retirees’ forum, saying, “This kind of forum brings retired people together to see themselves again and discuss mutual issues in the polity.”