The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has approved the proposal by the Pension Operators’ Association of Nigeria (PenOp), for an industry Shared Service Initiative (SSI), to expedite data recapture exercise (DRE) of all registered Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders, under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

According to the Commission, DRE involves recapturing the personal data of all registered RSA holders, who must provide their National Identification Numbers (NIN), to their Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs), in line with the Federal Government’s directive that every Nigerian must have a NIN.

It would be recalled that PenCom directed PFAs to embark on the recapturing exercise, following the slow adoption of the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS) application, a platform deployed by the Commission to build a credible database of contributors under the CPS.

The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the inability of some RSA holders to provide the NIN among other challenges, had affected the speedy conduct of the DRE by PFAs.

She said the SSI involves engaging some vendors to conduct the DRE on behalf of PFAs, noting that the arrangement would enhance efficiency in carrying out the exercise, as it would enable a vendor to recapture all RSA holders in the same organisation.

Speaking with newsmen in an interview, Dahir-Umar, said the initiative would surmount the challenges posed by the process of obtaining NIN.

She maintained that the major criteria for selecting the vendors were their registration with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and ability to carry out NIN registrations on its behalf.

Her words: “Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of remote recapturing through a self-service option is being considered, as the vendors must have integrated such capabilities in their system.

“The SSI, which is expected to commence soon, will resolve some of the lingering challenges that militate against the DRE. The Commission remains committed to providing necessary support to the pension industry to ensure the success of the DRE.”

Re-echoing her earlier call for States Pension Bureaux (SPB), to establish a Standing Reconciliation Committee (SRC), to resolve the issue of non-credited contributions to state employees’ RSAs after remittances have been made, Dahir-Umar also disclosed that of the 11 states under the CPS, only six have established an SRC (You mentioned eight states below).

She said the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Delta, and Osun states have established SRC, while Kebbi, Rivers, Anambra and Ogun states were yet to establish SRC.

She noted that the role of the Committee was to liaise with the PFAs to review all un-credited remittances held by each PFA, by identifying employees with invalid or duplicate pins, saying the Committee subsequently provided information to PFAs, to ensure that RSAs of affected employees are credited.

On the N14.92 billion recently released by the Federal Government to the retirees of Treasury-Funded Agencies (TFAs) under the CPS, she said PenCom deployed the sum for the payment of accrued rights and death benefits.

“Upon receipt of accrued pension rights in sum of 14.92 billion from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), the Commission deployed the amount for the payment of accrued rights and death benefits.

“Accordingly, the Commission has disbursed the relevant amount(s) into the Retirement Savings Accounts of the beneficiaries,” she added.