Defaulting companies have been forced to remit N15.76 billion outstanding pension contributions and penalties for failing to release their workers’ monthly contributions as and when due.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) had engaged the services of recovery agents to review the pension records of the employers and recover all outstanding pension contributions with monetary penalty.
The move as paid off as the total recoveries made by the agents since the inception of the exercise in 2012 till March 2019, has risen to N15.76 billion, representing principal contribution of N8.22 billion and monetary penalty of N7.54 billion.
A PenCom document accessed by LEADERSHIP also revealed that between January and March 2019, the first quarter of 2019, demand notices were issued to 23 defaulting employers whose pension liabilities were established by the recovery agents (RAs).
This led to the remittance of outstanding pension contributions of N399.76 million, representing the principal contributions of N343.72 million and penalty of N56.04 million.
It was learnt that the amount had since been credited to the respective Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of the concerned employees.
PenCom has continued to adopt strategies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014. The measures included the application of sanction and collaboration with key stakeholders through public enlightenment campaigns as well as the engagement of defaulting employers via pension recovery agents hired by the commission to track and recover all outstanding contributions.
At a quarterly media parley of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) in Lagos recently, its president, Mrs. Aderonke Adedeji, said that the association was working closely with the regulator to ensure that employers promptly remit the monthly contributions of their employees.
While admonishing the workers to always report their defaulting employers to the association, Adedeji, who is also the managing director of Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, promised that PenOp would take the matter up with such companies and if any defaulting firm failed to respond, the group would notify PenCom for appropriate sanction.
She said: “As a matter of fact, the law says that seven days after salaries are paid, deduction from employees’ salaries and employers should be remitted. So, when you have a situation where an employer is not making such remittances for two, three, four months and above, we go there to ask why they are not remitting.
“But when we find a situation where employers seem to be nonchalant, careless and things like that, we inform the regulator, and recovery agents to go to such employers to recover the debts,” she stated.