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PenCom decries slow compliance to ECRS



• To issues corporate governance guidelines for operators
The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has decried the slow compliance to the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS), a platform positioned to build a credible database of contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

According to the Commission, this challenge could be attributed to contributors’ complaint about difficulties in getting their National Identification Numbers (NIN), which is a requirement for updating their records with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

It maintained that although PenCom routinely receives requests for updates since the launch of the exercise, which confirms that ECRS is working as projected, the challenges in getting NIN has created a low turnout of contributors for re-capturing.

The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the Commission and Operators under the auspices of Association of Pension Operators (PenOp), have been sensitising contributors on the need to update their records while in service, and not waiting until they are due for retirement.

She said ECRS is an electronic platform for the submission of requests by PFAs for the registration of contributors and issuance of Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), noting that with the ECRS, all PFAs are required to provide information on NIN, and other vital information of both active workers and retirees’ who have Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs).

Dahir-Umar, said PenCom have collaborated the operators, and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to ensure the exercise achieved the intended objectives, and would continue to sensitise contributors on the need to re-capture their information and regularise their records, prior to their retirement.

Speaking with The Guardian in an interview, she said: “The ECRS has solved the issues identified in the defunct Contributor Registration System (CRS), as all contributors and retirees on the platform can have only one PIN tied to their NIN, thus eliminating the problems of multiple PINs.

“The ECRS has indeed strengthened the integrity of the pension industry database, as it is integrated with the NIMC platform for the identification, uniqueness and easy tracking of individuals.”

She maintained that with the introduction of ECRS, operations between the Commission and operators have become seamless, noting that the platform presents a credible database of the pension industry, and have paved way for the implementation of the transfer window.

“When the transfer window opens, RSA transfers will be carried out seamlessly through the RSA Transfer System (RTS). It is expected that the RSA transfer window will engender competition amongst PFAs, thus boosting the performance of the pension industry,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dahir-Umar said to boost the effectiveness of corporate governance practices in the industry, PenCom would soon issue the Corporate Government Guidelines for pension Operators.

She said the guideline is to ensure compliance to the code of corporate governance in the industry, as failure to address identified lapses and governance issues may negatively impact on the management of the pension fund.

“PenCom would soon issue Corporate Government Guidelines for Pension Operators that align with the 2018 Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance, issued by Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). The Guidelines will replace the existing Code and will become effective this January 2020,” she said.

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