Recover N10tr from Fed Govt, Reps tell PenCom

The House of Representatives has asked the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to take steps to recover the N10 trillion loan given to the Federal Government from the nation’s pension fund.

It said modalities should be put in place to prevent a collapse of the scheme.

The House resolved to investigate the status of pension fund assets of over N15,500,000,000,000.00 to ensure the recovery of the loan to the government.

It also urged PenCom to ensure the immediate release of funds for the payment of pension funds to all retirees who have found it difficult to access their entitlements.

Adopting a motion by Aliyu Bappa Misau, the Green Chamber urged pension regulators to scrutinise the failure of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in fulfilling their obligations to retirees on their retirement savings.

The lawmaker said the Retirement Saving Accounts (RSAs) is the lifeline that pensioners relied upon to cater for their needs on retirement.

He expressed concern that most pensioners were unable to access their retirement funds, despite complying with the requirements of the contributory pension scheme.

According to him, neither the PenCom nor the PFAs had been able to reassure pensioners of getting their entitlements without stress.

Misau noted that the pension fund assets, which PenCom regulated, being the proceeds of the Contributory Pension Scheme and returns on investment, stood at more than 15,500,000,000,000.00 as at the close of the first quarter of 2023.

The lawmaker stressed that nothing should prevent retirees from accessing their retirement savings as and when due.

He said critical stakeholders had expressed concern that 65 per cent of the pension funds (N10 trillion) loaned to the Federal Government was an investment which exposed the contributors to unnecessary volatility.

According to him, the Federal Government might fail to pay back the loan in due time.

Misau added that the inability of pensioners to access their pension had caused untold hardship to them, making it difficult for them to afford basic necessities.