PFAs Kick As NASS Passes Bill To Exit Pension Scheme
The National Assembly has passed a bill to exempt its workers from the scheme, 18 years after operating the Contributory Pension Scheme.
However, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) has said that the passage of the bill sets a dangerous precedent for Nigerian workers.
PenOp is the umbrella body for all Pension Fund Administrators and Pension Fund Companies.
PenOp reacted in a statement titled, ‘Exemption of the National Assembly staff from the Contributory Pension Scheme – Matters arising’.
The statement was to draw the attention of the public to the “Bill for an Act to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014, to exclude/exempt the National Assembly Service from the Contributory Pension Scheme and establish the National Assembly Service Pension Board; and for Related Matters (HB 2025)” which was recently passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.
It stated that, “PenOp wishes to state unequivocally that the passage of this bill sets a dangerous precedent that will not augur well for hardworking Nigerians, working across the private and public sector, who depend on the Contributory Pension Scheme for retirement security and stability.
“The introduction of the CPS in Nigeria marked a departure from the unsustainable pension schemes the country had been operating in the past. This scheme has brought transparency, international best practice and guaranteed peace of mind to millions of pensioners. For these reasons and many more, the need for the above bill is indeed unfathomable and unjustifiable.”
Expressing concern regarding the way the bill was passed, it stated that the passage of the bill seemed to have been unnecessarily expedited and shrouded in secrecy with very little engagement and input from critical stakeholders, as it was passed during the National Assembly’s recess.
The statement said, “Indeed, it is disturbing that this bill did not go through any public hearing, a key component of the legislative process that allows stakeholders to have their voices and opinions heard for possible inclusion in the process.
“If this was done, pertinent issues such as the amendment of retirement age, funding of pension liability, and the potential debt burden on government, all of which are affected by this bill would have been debated and brought to the fore.”