The National Pension Commission, PenCom, has deepened awareness of benefits of the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) which was conceptualized to expand pension coverage to the informal sector.
The initiative specifically targets small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.
The Commissions Director General, DG, Aisha Dahir- Umar, while speaking at the second sensitization programme organised for Civil Society Organisations, CSOs in Abuja, said the MPP aims to curb old-age poverty by assisting the participants to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they are no longer in active working life.
“Given the peculiarities of the target participants, the Commission is facilitating efforts by the Pension Fund Administrators to provide incentives for the MPP. One key incentive that is being worked upon is the provision of health insurance to the Micro Pension contributors. This recognizes the need for the MPP to provide more access to health care services, which is often lacking in critical times of need.” she said.
The DG, pointed out that the strategic efforts to drive the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) remains one of the important areas of focus of the Commission, adding, “Therefore, it is the Commission’s expectation that the learning points from this conference would be disseminated to your target audience and the larger society, in addition to creating awareness and deepening the understanding of members of the CSGs, the conference should also elicit their participation in the MPP. ”
She said the current Commission’s leadership is focused on transforming the pension sector.
Some of the recent significant accomplishments by the Commission include the issuance of the Guidelines on Accessing 25 percent (%) of RSA Balance towards payment of Equity Contribution for Residential Mortgage by RSA holders. This innovative development provides equity finance for RSA holders, facilitates their ownership of residential homes during their working life, and ultimately improves their living standards.
The Guideline effectively implements the provisions of Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA), 2014 which aligns with one of the Commission’s core value of responsiveness, based on the need to improve the standard of living of active employees and retirees under the CPS.