By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo
THE number of self-employed persons saving for retirement benefit under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) since the commencement of the plan in March, last year, has reached 53,827, The Nation has learnt.
According to a report by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), these contributors have consequently saved N4. 8 million in their Retirement Savings Account (RSAs).
The savings came under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) based on the extension of coverage for MPP by the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.
The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, reiterated that the PRA 2014 expanded coverage of the CPS to the self-employed and persons working in organisations with no fewer than three employees.
She said: “As this category of workers constitutes the larger percentage of the working population in the country, there is no doubt that to achieve the pension industry’s strategic objective of covering 30 per cent of the working population in Nigeria under the CPS by the end of 2024, efforts should be on deck to extend coverage to this important segment of the economy.
“In addition, due to their widely dispersed nature and generally low and irregular incomes, there is the need to provide a pension plan that would meet their special characteristics. In this regard, the Micro Pension Plan initiative has been conceived within the context of an industry wide strategy to bring this class of workers on board.
“In implementing this initiative, the informal sector has been segmented into three categories, which are low income earners, the high income earners and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Each of these categories is going to be targeted with appropriate pension products and sensitisation programmes that meet their peculiarities.”
She stated that a robust technological platform that would support customer services is necessary to register, collect contributions, provide RSA support, pay benefits and offer financial advisory services to these workers.
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