Employers of labour have continued flouting the Pension Reform Act 2014, with respect to non-remittance of pensions deducted from employee’s salaries.
The irony is the helpless employees who are affected by the ill-treatment of their employers do not have the courage to fight their course for fear of losing their jobs, in an environment where unemployment is on the rise, with no hope of reprieve at least in the short run.
Recovery agents engaged by the pension industry regulator, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to recover these debts have barely scratched the surface, as many organizations that have contravened this law and still contravening have not suffered any form of serious punishment.
Where they have made progress, it is only from organisations that have needed to bid for contracts from the Federal Government. So, as requirements to participate in government jobs, they needed to have compliance certificate which must be requested by Bureau of Public Enterprises and Bureau of Public Procurement.
PenCom in its third quarter report 2016, said the Commission continued to apply various strategies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which included the application of sanctions and collaboration with key stakeholders on public enlightenment campaigns, as well as engagement of defaulting employers via pension recovery agents employed by the Commission to recover unremitted pension contributions.
Meanwhile, as part of efforts toward recovery of outstanding contributions and interest penalty from defaulting employers, NAICOM issues demand notices to defaulting employers.
Consequently, forty five (45) employers had remitted the outstanding pension contributions and penalty to the tune of N775.60 million during the third quarter 2016. This brought the total recoveries made to N10.97 billion since the commencement of the exercise.
During the quarter under review, the Commission received a total of 3,475 applications for issuance of Compliance Certificates. Out of this figure, Compliance Certificates were issued to 3,374 organizations while applications from 101 were turned down due to incomplete documentations.
The sum of N12.19 billion was remitted by the 3,374 organizations that were issued certificates.
PENCOMs new management must put in place effect strategies to ensure employers fully comply with the Pension act so that employees can retire knowing that their pension contributions have earned the required returns to keep them safe when they can no longer work.