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At least 324,141 pension contributors have withdrawn N113.21 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts with their Pension Funds Administrators as of the end of June 2019. This was disclosed by the National Pension Commission.

The money was said to be withdrawn mostly by contributors who got sacked and couldn’t get another job after four months, and contributors who resigned from paid employments and were less than 50 years old.

This is in line with the Pension Reform Act 2014 which states that workers can access 25% of their RSA balance if they are out of paid employment for at least four months.

According to PenCom’s report for second quarter of 2019 on ‘Withdrawal of 25% of RSA balances’, approval was granted for payment of N5.28 billion to 10,673 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement between April and June 2019.

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“The cumulative total number of RSA holders who were paid benefits for the temporary loss of job was 324,141 and were paid a total of N113.21 billion being 25% of the balances of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014. Further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.33 per cent of those who benefitted from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.67%,” the report read.

What you should know: In a bid to project the new pension scheme, the Micro-Pension plan (MPP), the Head of Corporate Communications, PenCom, Peter Aghahowa said that pension operators would push out awareness campaign and sensitisation across traditional, social and digital media, in order to educate the public and get more contributors.

The Micro Pension Plan was introduced to help low-income earners, traders, artisans, professionals, and other self-employed people save conveniently for retirement.

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