Pension firm engages NOUN staff, dispels 2% withdrawal rumour

By Favour Egwu

A representative of the First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), Mr. Onoja Precious, has dispelled information going round about the eligibility of contributors to withdraw two percent of their money before retirement.

Precious said this during an interactive session held on 25th of August, 2021 at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) headquarters to inform, educate and answer pressing questions on pension-related issues.

According to him, “The National Pension Commission (PenCom) policy states that you can withdraw 25% from your Retirement Savings Account (RSA) when you are out of a job or four months below 50 years and when you retire.”

He added that another way to access your RSA is through contributing to the Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC), saying that “this is when a contributor sends additional funds to his/her PFA aside the governments monthly deduction. You can have access to 50% of your ACV after 2 years of contribution.”

While answering some questions, Precious said fluctuations that are seen in the total pensions contributions do not affect the principal monthly contribution, explaining that the fluctuation happens as a result of the investment market. “When the market goes up your Return On Investment (ROI) goes up, and when the market goes down your ROI goes down. So contributors shouldn’t worry.”

The representative of the firm also said “PenCom has requirements that determine how a contributor would be paid upon retirement: your age, your RSA balance, gender and so much more. Their policy states (that) you’re not to be paid in bulk but monthly until death and the rest handed over to your next of kin.”

He, therefore, urged members of staff to rectify their pension details and check if their deductions were being remitted to their PFAs and not hanging.

In her welcome address earlier, Principal Accountant, NOUN, Mrs. Uriyom Mashem, thanked the staff for taking out time from their busy schedule to attend the event, explaining that it was organised to enlighten staff on the operations of PenCom and PFAs.

Mashem urged staff to listen carefully and ask questions as that was why they were invited. “This session is needed because staff come in daily to rectify issues and ask questions.”

She bemoaned at the fact that people didn’t take pension matters seriously even though their money is being deducted monthly whether they like it or not.

“It is important that everybody gets involved with their pensions and how it works. You cannot remain ignorant because you end up losing,” Mashem said.