Chuks Udo Okonta
The efforts of agents engaged by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to recover unpaid contributions seem to be yielding results as over N500 million has so far been retrieved from defaulters, Inspen has learnt.Executive Director, Andax- Patrick Limited Patrick Igboh, who his firm is one of the agents disclosed this today on a television programme – Focus Nigeria, anchored by Africa Independent Television (AIT).
He said the amount recovered was for both outstanding pension contributions and interest penalty from employers in the private sector, who did not remit as when due or did not remit at all. He added that the period covered was from January 2005 to December 2012.Echoing him, Business Development and Relationship Management, FUG Pensions Limited, Godswill Egbe, said the efforts of the agents have started reflecting on the books of pension fund administrators.
He noted that there was an account in his firm that moved from zero to over 98 per cent, attributing the growth to the efforts by the agents.
The new Act which was recently signed by the President Goodluck Jonathan, in Section 11 subsection 3b, provides that an employer shall not later than 7 working days from the day the employee is paid his salary, remit an amount comprising the employee’s and employer contributions to the pension fund custodian specified by the pension fund administrator.
Section 11 (6) provides that: “An employer who fails to deduct or remit the contributions within the time stipulated in subsection (3) (b) of this section shall, in addition to making the remittance already due, be liable to a penalty to be stipulated by the commission.”PenCom has stated that 50 per cent of the interest penalty from outstanding contributions recovered through the efforts of agents will be given to employees with Retirement Savings Account (RSA), while the balance 50 per cent would be use to settle the agents.
The commission said the balance 50 per cent would be paid to agent to defray the cost of recovery, adding that PFAs would not be allowed to charge administration fee on retirement savings accounts that benefited from the recovery in the arrears or in retrospect.
It noted that each agent’s performance would be monitored based on set performance standards which would be documented in a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to be executed with the recovery agents. He said recovery agents would be required to submit monthly progress report with respect to recoveries from employers assigned to them, adding the reports would be reviewed to determine if the performance of the agent is satisfactory or otherwise.