MPP would benefit those in informal sector, says PenCom
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has urged artisans, farmers and other categories of self-employed workers to make use of its Micro Pension Plan (MPP) to avoid the risk of old age poverty.
PenCom’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Abdulqadrir Dahiru, told newsmen in Enugu, yesterday, that the MPP was a long-term voluntary financial plan for the provision of pension coverage to the self-employed, and persons working for organisations with less than three employees who are mainly in the informal sector.
He reeled out the benefits of the micro pension plan to include helping individuals cultivate the habit of saving for their future/retirement, improve the standard of living of the elderly, adding that it provides a regular stream of income at old age, provide access to other incentives, secures financial autonomy and independence at old age, as well as make contributions to be passed to the named beneficiary in case of the contributor’s death.
Dahiru said: “It is for the traders, market women, artisans, farmers, mechanics, the hairdressers or stylists, all these persons ought to have a pension scheme for themselves so that, at retirement, they would have something to fall back on.
That is why PenCom has come up with MPP, which is a pro-pension plan to enlighten the people or create awareness that this plan exists and that it is for everyone to have something good to fall back on at retirement because there comes a time in life when your health, age, may not be able to take you along; that’s when you fall back to your pension, so that at the end of the month, you have something to carter for your immediate needs.”
He revealed that about 90 per cent of workers in Nigeria are in the informal sector with no pension protection for old age; adding that with the increase in people living long, there is a risk of old age poverty.
“Therefore, Section 2(3) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 expanded coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme to the self-employed and persons working in organisations with less than three employees through the MPP. This platform provides workers in this sector the opportunity to easily register and contribute in a flexible manner and in a safe and secure environment for their pension at retirement,” he said.
He said that the commission has continued to create awareness about the product to the Nigerian artisans and other self-employed persons that belong to a trade, professional or business association, self-employed persons with a business registration as a company or enterprise, employees operating in the informal sector, who work with or without formal written employment contract and self-employed persons not belonging to a trade, profession or business association but with verifiable source of income.