The National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Friday said that 72,000 participants have been registered under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) as at November.
Head, Micro Pension Department, PenCom, Mr Dowda Ahmed, said on the sidelines of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) Annual Media Parley in Lagos, with the theme: “Micro Pension – Challenges and Opportunities.”
Ahmed explained that the micro pension scheme is designed for the informal sector, such as the self-employed or organisations which could not participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) because they do not have a minimum of three employees as specified by the CPS Act.
“These include small-scale business owners, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs, among others,” he said.
According to him, micro pension was put in place to curb old-age poverty by assisting people to contribute while working and have long-term savings they could fall back on when they become old.
The PenCom official stated that the scheme is designed to be voluntary, against the CPS which is mandatory.
Ahmed said that the scheme is flexible because the amount to be contributed and the frequency of contribution are determined by the contributor.
He noted, however, that the commission has strict regulation and monitoring of the micro-pension scheme.
Ahmed said: “MPP is based on individual and personalised Retirement Savings Account (RSA), as only the RSA holders have access to the balance in the account.
“There is separation of management and custody of the pension funds which ensures that Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) who manage the fund, do not have direct access to them as the funds are kept by the Pension Funds Custodians (PFCs).
He called for an aggressive media campaign to create more awareness and educate Nigerians on the benefits of the scheme .