It appears that the radio program started recently by the National Pension Commission, PenCom, aimed at enlightening Nigerians on the contributory pension schemes in the country is already paying off. It will be recalled that the pension commission (PenCom) started a radio program titled “Retirement Mata” which is a weekly 30-minute pidgin English program that airs every Friday on Naija 102.7 FM, Lagos at 5:00 pm.
Analysis of the recently released Summary of Pension Fund Assets for the month of October 2018 indicates that 138,276 new members registered to participate in different forms of the contributory pension schemes available in Nigeria. This represents an increase of over 150% when compared to previous monthly additions.
Before October, the average monthly additional registrations have always been in the neighbourhood of 55,000. Though there was a surge in the number of new members, the age-related trend remains the same as most of those new members came from the age grade of 40-65. While those in the age bracket of 40-49 added 53,294 new members, those between 50 and 59 added 26,989 new members, while those in the age bracket of 60-69 added 18,054 new members.
The gender analysis shows that once again, twice as many men, 91,910 than women, 46,326 were added to the league of pension fund participants. Again, the private sector added more people than the public, adding 108,781 new members against the 26,455 new members from the public sector. That brings the total number of people participating in various contributory pension schemes in Nigeria to 8,410,184. Though this is a minuscule proportion of the labour force in Nigeria, it is encouraging to see that more and more people are becoming conscious of the need to save for retirement.
PenCom and the pension fund managers and other service providers should double their efforts in creating awareness and in sensitising the people on the need to plan for their retirement. Good try Nigeria.