Nigeria: North West States Deepen Pension Role - Report

The seven states in the North West are deepening their processes of adopting the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) after the National Pension Commission (PenCom) established the scheme in July 2004.

According to a publication by PenCom on Wednesday and valid as of March 31, 2021, some of the states have recorded progress.

While Kebbi is progressing on the yardsticks it should meet, the state is yet to open a Retirement Benefits Bond Redemption Fund Account and yet to commence funding of the Accrued Pension Rights.

Although Sokoto enacted the CPS in 2007, it is yet to register its employees with the PFAs. "Yet to commence deduction and remittance of Pension Contributions Yet to conduct an Actuarial Valuation."

Jigawa is remitting 17% employer and 8% employee pension contributions under the Contributory Defined Benefits Scheme (CDBS) to 10 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). It has remitted employee and employer pension contributions for December 2020 to March 2021 but is "yet to remit a backlog of employee and employer pension contributions for May 2020 to November 2020."

Kaduna has registered its employees with PFAs and is remitting pension contributions but reduced the employer's rate of contributions from 13% to 8% via the 2020 amendment. The 7% existing employee pension contribution rate had nonetheless been retained.

However, "the State has huge arrears of Accrued Pension Rights," said PenCom.

For Kano, its deducted pension contributions are under the management of a board of trustees instead of the PFAs. There are also certain indices the state has not met: "Yet to establish a State Pension Bureau; yet to transfer pension assets to a Licensed Pension Operator; yet to conduct an Actuarial Valuation and has huge pension and gratuity liabilities."

Zamfara is progressing on setting up the pension structure but it is yet to commence deduction and remittance of pension contributions under the CDBS and yet to conduct an Actuarial Valuation as of March 2021.

Katsina is still far behind even though it drafted a bill on the CDBS in 2017. It is yet to enact a Law on the CDBS to guide implementation of the scheme, among other yardsticks.

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