BY ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos
Not being able to secure a job or losing one can be demoralising. However, one is forced to cope with the current economic reality when this happens. Only the strong ones can survive that moment without it having a psychological effect on them.
But the good news is that Retirement Savings Account(RSA) holders need not worry, as the Pension Reforms Act(PRA) 2014 has come to their rescue.
This Act allows contributors, under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and were unable to secure another job within 4 months of disengagement, to access 25 per cent of contribution from their respective RSAs.
Speaking on this development, the head, corporate communications, National Pension Commission(PenCom), Mr. Peter Aghahowa, says the reason for this gesture is to ensure that the contributors meet their social and financial needs, as well as invest in new or existing businesses, while he is still without a job.
Aghahowa Adds that the commission has, because of increase in applications, strengthened the department responsible for this, attributing the increase in application of this 25 per cent to the downturn in the economy occasioned by COVID-19.
The commission, he added, has already instructed Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs) to prepare for increase in the 25 per cent application as people keep losing jobs on a daily basis.
He says this development shows the beauty of the new pension scheme, promising that, the commission will not hesitate to grant any application as long as it is genuine and fulfills the needed requirements.
Steps To Access 25% From Your Pension Account After Job Loss
Section 7 (2) of the PRA 2014 allows a worker who voluntarily retires, resigns or is disengaged from paid employment, to access 25 per cent of his RSA if he is unable to get another job after four months.
To access your Pension Funds should you decide to resign from paid employment or were sacked, you need to present to your PFA the letter of termination of appointment issued by the employer or letter of resignation, last three months’ pay slips, letter from you requesting for 25 per cent payment of the RSA balance, evidence of accrued pension rights, if any, for public sector workers and bank statement or letter of introduction from the bank.
Other documents needed are; Proof of age (birth certificate or sworn declaration of age), Letter from the employer confirming full remittance of all contributions made to the RSA for the private sector worker, PenCom retiree indemnity form for public sector workers, Four passport photographs; and a form to be given by the PFA.
Your request will now undergo approval process, whereby you pension fund administrator will submit your request letter to PenCom, who will now assess the letter and decides whether to accept or decline the request.