FG settles PenCom, Naicom face-off over annuity business
In an effort to ensure harmonization of pension and insurance regulatory operations in Nigeria, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has intervened and brokered a resolution in the dispute between the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Recall that trouble started when PenCom issued a circular in November 2016, directing life insurance companies to transfer their annuity asset holdings to Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs), citing Section 56 of Pension Reform Act 2014 that requires the life insurance underwriters to transfer their RLA assets to licensed PFCs.
The insurers were also required by the circular to suspend approving new requests for annuity pending the transfer of assets to PFCs.
But NAICOM disagreed with PenCom on the grounds that annuity is a product offered by Life Insurance companies that are directly under its supervision.
Industry experts had argued that the decision by PenCom was taken without due consultation with stakeholders.
At a meeting convened by the Minister between the Director-General of PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, and Commissioner for Insurance/NAICOM Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, both parties agreed to issue a joint circular by Tuesday, March 21, 2017 that would supersede all previous circulars issued by the two regulatory agencies on the annuity matter, according to a statement by the Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta.
In the meeting, Mrs. Adeosun disclosed that she had received several complaints from pensioners in relation to the dispute, who complained that the insurance sector was being affected by the feud.
She drew the attention of both parties to the adverse impact the current situation is having on pensioners and reiterated that a prompt resolution of the matter is paramount.