The Federal Government has paid a total of N980.18bn to retirees of treasury-funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies from the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2004 to December 2021.
The Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed this in her report on the pension industry for 2021.
She said, “In addition, the Federal Government continued to fund the Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund account. With the release of N100.29bn for the payment of accrued rights to retirees of treasury-funded MDAs, this brought the total amount released by the Federal Government into the RBBRF account, from inception to 31 December 2021, to N980.18bn.”
According to her, the most significant development in the pension industry in 2021 was the successful reduction of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
She said PenCom obtained presidential approval for N159.46bn to defray some aspects of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the CPS.
Consequently, she said, N40.55bn, being the outstanding accrued rights of 6,282 retirees and 2,329 deceased employees, was paid during the year.
She added that N66.83bn was remitted into the Retirement Savings Accounts of 85,743 retirees and 693,229 active employees, being the 2.5 percent shortfall in the rate of employer pension contributions as of December 2021.
The balance of N52.08bn was processed in the 2022 financial year, she noted.
Dahir-Umar said, “The industry remained focused on the resolution of the challenges of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the CPS, expansion of coverage of the CPS to the informal sector and the sub-national governments, and the diversification of pension fund investment.
“Other focus areas included the drive to improve the quality of customer service delivery, enhancement of the operational capacity of the regulator/operators’ workforce, and the re-invigoration of the commission’s public enlightenment and education initiatives.”
She said the industry remained focused on the resolution of the challenges of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government under the CPS, expansion of coverage of the CPS to the informal sector, the sub-national governments, and the diversification of pension funds investment.
The Chairman, PenCom, Dr. Oluremi Oni, said during the year under review, the agency pursued increased diversification of pension fund portfolios by ramping up efforts aimed at ensuring a sustained investment of pension funds in structured infrastructure projects that met the stringent requirements as enshrined in the regulation for the investment of pension fund assets.
He said, “We are glad to report that out of the N8.77tn or 65.35 percent of the total pension assets under management invested in Federal Government securities, pension funds directly invested N118.31bn in the Sukuk bond issued by the Federal Government to finance road projects nationwide, N59.32bn was invested in FGN green bond, while N14.30bn was invested in agency bonds issued by the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.”
He said although PenCom’s efforts at diversifying investments of pension funds and hedging against inflation had gradually begun to yield results, efforts were ongoing to ensure that the annualized average rates of return of pension funds across RSA and legacy funds were above headline inflation rates.