Three years into the launch of the micro pension plan (MPP), pension fund operators said they have registered just 72,846 contributors revealing that they have resorted to introduction of value addition incentives to encourage more participation into the Micro Pension Plan .
The micro Pension plan was officially launched by the president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on March 29,2019.
Since its launch, contrary to the desires and aspirations of the pension sector regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the micro pension plan has witnessed slow growth.
This is in contrast to the speedy growth witnessed by the Contributory pension scheme (CPS) which had within 17 years of its regime registered over 10 million contributors and built up N13 trillion assets.
Speaking at the Annual media Parley organised by the umbrella body of pension fund administrators, the Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), the Head, Micro Pension Department, PenCom, Mr Dowda Ahmed, said current number of contributors into the micro pension scheme which was approximately 73000 contributors fall short of the commission’s expectation.
According to him, the commission, had expected more than what it has recorded, adding that the commission had engaged some stakeholders to ensure that the MPP had an enabling environment to thrive
He described the Micro Pension Plan as a long-term voluntary financial plan for the provision of pension coverage to the self-employed and persons working under organisations with less than three employees who are mainly in the informal sector.
According to him, the commission had expected more than what it has recorded.
“Yes we are not making so much as expeceted, a lot of work has been going on to that effect. Our targeted media campaign is coming up, our major challenge is lack of awareness about the products itself and there is need for operators and commission to do more to create awareness. Stakeholders have been engaged to make sure we have enabling environmental for success, next year, there will be a lot of activities to ensure we drive the Micro Pension plan,” Ahmed assured.
Also speaking, the Managing Director/CEO, Access Pension Fund Custodian, Idu Okwuosa, said that a committee had been set up by the Commission to commence massive campaign next year?
Okwuosa, said the association was working on how to introduce incentives into the micro pension plan as value addition to contributors.
She said the operators had reached out to some financial service providers, especially insurers to work out measures for adoption of products such as health insurance, term life assurance, loss of job policy amongst others as incentives for their micro pension contributors to improve on the lives and fortune of micro pension subscribers.
According to her, PenOp and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) desire a better lifestyle for micro pension contributors and are working to see that aside the benefits of retirement and contingency savings, contributors maximise other robust incentives.
On recapitalisation exercise, the Head Surveillance, PenCom, Mr Ehimeme Ohioma disclosed that about 10 PFAs have met the recapitalisation requirment of increasing their minimum capital base to N5 billion in April, 2021 as required by the Commission.
“The PFAs have been responsive to it, there have been on going consolidations, Some PFAs have merged some are being acquired, it is a business opportunity to have big players in the financial sector come into the sector.”