Consider pension plan, PenCom advises informal sector workers

The Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, has urged informal sector workers to embrace the Micro Pension Plan.

Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head, South West Zonal Office, PenCom, Sola Adeseun, spoke during the commission’ special day at the Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos on Friday.

She said, “Participating at the trade fair is just one of our strategies in creating awareness on the MPP. Aside from this, PenCom also reaches out to market women across the country, to have sessions with them, so that they can also contribute to the micro pension plan to have something to fall back to in their retirement age.”

According to her, the MPP was being embraced in Lagos, and the zonal office was intensifying efforts at creating more awareness of the MPP within the South West geo-political zone.

The Head of the Micro Pensions Department at PenCom, Dauda Ahmed, said the MPP was introduced by the Pension Reform Act 2014, to allow individuals working in organisations with fewer than three employees and self-employed individuals, to voluntarily participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme, and save for their retirement age.

“The MPP presents a significant opportunity for workers in the informal sector to secure their future through retirement savings,” he said.

According to him, the scheme’s awareness level among artisans, entrepreneurs, and participants in the informal sector had increased in the last few months, as over 97,000 contributors had enrolled on the MPP.

The President, LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, in his welcome address, commended the pension industry for its success over the years, with total pension assets of N17.35tn as of September 2023, and contributors’ base of about 10.1 million people.

Despite significant achievements made so far, he said, there was still a need for the sector to address the challenges hindering its progress such as inconsistent policies, delay in payment of pensions and gratuities to deserving retirees, a high number of defaulting employers, and weak enforcement of non-compliance with the pension Act.

(Punch)

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