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PFAs Recapitalisation Continues As NIN Hurdles Scuttle Pension Data Recapturing Exercise

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From April, 2021 till now, no fewer than 11 Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs) have scaled through the N5 billion minimum capital benchmark as instructed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for pension operators to do so, even as four of the 11 PFAs have embraced mergers and acquisition options to recapitlise, LEADERSHIP learnt.

This is even as the challenges faced by Retirement Savings Account (RSA) to get their National Identification Number (NIN) is gradually scuttling the data recapturing exercise in the pension industry.

PFAs Recapitalisation

No fewer than 11 Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs) have upgraded their shareholders’ fund from N1billion to N5 billion, four months to April 2022 deadline given to all PFAs in the country to do so, LEADERSHIP learnt.

The National Pension Commission(PenCom) had earlier mandated all the 22 Pension fund administrators in the country to raise additional N4 billion capital on the existing minimum capital of N1billion, such that, by April 2022, each of them has a minimum shareholders fund of N5billion.

Findings show that, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, ARM Pension Managers Limited, NPF Pension Limited, First Guarantee Pension Limited, Leadway Pensure Limited, Premium Pension Limited, among others, have so far recapitalise to the new threshold.

Similarly, four Pension Fund Administrators may go into merger and acquisition ahead of the April 2022 deadline stipulated for pension companies to raise their minimum capital from N1bn to N5bn.

Findings show that PenCom had granted a “no objection” approval to Guaranty Trust Holding Company to acquire 100 per cent shareholding of Investment One Pension Managers Limited.

Similarly, the commission was said to have also granted a “no objection” approval to FCMB Pensions Limited for the next phase of acquiring 60 per cent shareholding of AIICO Pension Managers Limited.

Meanwhile, AXA Mansard Pensions Limited has re-branded and changed its name to Tangerine Pensions Limited, following the completion of the acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited by Verod Capital Management Limited.

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Confirming this development at the 2021 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria(PenOp) Media Parley in Lagos, the head Surveillance, PenCom, Mr Ehimeme Ohioma, disclosed that about 10 or 11 PFAs have increased minimum capital base to N5 billion.

To her, the objective of the  recapitalisation exercise was to improve the financial stability and operational efficiency in the industry.

According to her, “this is the second recapitalisation exercise in the industry within the current CPS. It is the because the industry has grown and the assets has grown, hence, there is need for this.

“They(PFAs) need to retain the real skilled workers. We need to attract talent.  There is need for digitalisation. This will cost money too and ensure efficiency especially with the Covid-19. So, the exercise is ripe and we are looking at having big players in the industry,” she stressed.

Similarly, the president, PenOp, Mr. Wale Odutola, assured that the remaining PFAs would have concluded their recapitalisation exercise, latest by February, 2022, believing that, all the PFAs will scale through as they are all at an advanced stage of their recapitalisation exercise in the industry.

 

Data Recapturing Exercise

Meanwhile, no fewer than 70 million Nigerians are struggling to get their National Identification Number (NIN) from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), few days to the 31st of December, 2021 deadline for linkage of SIM to NIN, LEADERSHIP investigation can now reveal.

In recent weeks, NIN registration and issuance have been slower owing to NIMC server downtime. To this end, those whose NIN have already been issued could not ascertain this and print for NIN-Sim linkage, while majority whose enrollment has been done at NIMC enrollment centres are yet to have their data processed as a result of this.

These hitches, findings also revealed, have prevented some retirees access to their pension entitlements after retirement, as they are expected to submit their data to their Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs), of which NIN is a major requirement, before they could get their pensions.

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The pension industry decided, in 2019, to recapture the data of pension contributors following abnormally in the previous registration when the new pension scheme commenced in 2004.

There were issues of multiple identity, incomplete information, among others, of which the current recapturing exercise is expected to amend.

But with NIN a critical information and the ongoing exercise and the challenges of getting identity number from NIMC, the exercise has somehow slowed down.

Several months after retirement, some are still yet to get identity numbers that is crucial to their pensions.

Micro Pension Plan

Similarly, this development is affecting the uptake of Micro Pension Plan(MPP) as NIN is also a major requirement for its subscription.

The Micro pension scheme, which started in the last quarter of 2020, has progressed at a slow pace in 2021 as about 72,000 people have so far subscribed to the scheme.

The pension regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) had earlier provided guidelines for the implementation of micro-pension plans in the country.

The implementation of the Micro-pension plan (MPP) is expected to extend financial inclusion to the informal sector of the economy by ensuring that micro-pension contributors provide functional bank accounts for their contributions and withdrawals in the process of savings to meet their retirement needs, in preparation for the eventual reduction in earning capacity during old age.

 

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