302,735 sacked workers withdraw N103.42bn from pension fund

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About 302,735 people who lost their jobs and remained jobless after four months have withdrawn N103.42bn from the balance in their Retirement Savings Accounts with their respective Pension Fund Administrators under the Contributory Pension Scheme as at the end of 2018.

The fund under the scheme stood at N8.7tn in February 2019, according to the latest data from the National Pension Commission.

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Figures obtained from the commission revealed that in the last quarter of 2018 financial period, approval was granted for payment of N5.14bn to N13,609bn RSA holders under 50 years who were unable to secure paid employment four months after they lost their jobs.

Part of the PenCom report read, “The cumulative total number of RSA holders who were paid benefits for temporary loss of job was 302,735 and were paid a total of N103.42bn being 25 per cent of the balance of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014.

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“A further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.70 per cent of those who benefitted from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.30 per cent.”

A breakdown of those who lost their jobs revealed that 7,959 were federal workers, 5,046 were state workers while 289,730 were private sector workers.

During the period under review, the workers had a total balance of N413.694bn in their RSAs, the commission stated.

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The high rate of job losses in the country raised the demand by workers under the CPS to withdraw 25 per cent of the balance in their RSAs, according to experts.

According to figures obtained from the commission, while 150,000 persons who lost their jobs withdrew N48bn as of the end of February 2016, no fewer than 232,456 affected workers withdrew N76.03bn at the end of September 2017.

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