Pension contributors decry cumbersome data recapture process

Some Federal Government contributors to the Contributory Pension Scheme, have decried the long process involved in the ongoing Nationwide Data  Recapture for registered workers.

The pension contributors, who made the complaint in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, described the process as cumbersome.

The contributors urged the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to ease the process for workers by sending their staff to Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to do the recapturing.

According to them, the exercise is affecting their jobs as they have to abandon their duty post and whole day is lost.

Mrs Abigail Dariya, a contributor complained about the documents requested for by her Pension Fund Administrator, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers.

“The documents are just too many and the process is too long. We are also being asked to bring our National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment slip as the only acceptable means of identification.

“NIN is so difficult to get, and they have refused to accept an alternative means of identification like voters card or drivers licence.

“As if that is not enough, they are asking us to submit our pay slips showing our grade level and step for June 2004, January 2007, July 2010, Dec 2013 and December 2016,’’ she said.

Another Federal Government pension contributor, Mr Benjamin Adisa said not only was the process too long but that the timeframe given to pension contributors to complete the exercise was short.

“In spite the long process, the PFA is telling us that we have from July 19, 2019 to August 02, 2019 to complete the exercise.

“Just imagine the number of civil servants in Abuja. When you go to their office, you spend the whole day and achieve nothing.

“I urge them to reconsider some of the requirements to make it easy for us to comply,’’ he said.

Mrs Janet Chukwu appealed that the exercise be extended to allow more time for the process to be completed.

She also advised the PFAs to look into easing the process for workers by sending their staff to MDAs for recapturing.

When NAN contacted Stanbic IBTC Pension, Abuja office, the staff told NAN that they had no authorisation to speak to the press.

However, a call to the organisation’s Call Centre revealed that the exercise was based on a directive by the National Pensions Commission (PenCoM).

The Call Center agent told NAN that PenCom had mandated all PFAs to obtain a complete and accurate data of all their customers both serving and retired.

“The exercise will allow PFAs obtain the National Identity Numbers (NIN) of Retirement Savings Account (RSAs) holders to ensure compliance with the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) minimum bio-data requirement.

“It will also help to identify and eliminate multiple registrations from the RSA Registration Database thereby improving data integrity,’’ he said.

The Customer Care agent also clarified that the recapturing process could be done online, so clients don’t need to spend all day at any PFA office for recapturing.

Meanwhile, the Head of Corporate Communications, PenCom Mr Peter Aghahowa said the data recapturing became necessary after the Federal Government made it compulsory for every Nigerian to have a NIN.

“To achieve this, all data generating organisations have been directed to harmonise their database with NIMC, with the mandate to implement the National Identity System in Nigeria.

“To enable the pension industry comply, PenCom has directed all PFAs to update the records of their clients.

“Consequently, all Retirement Savings Account holders, both active and retired are advised to approach their PFAs to provide their NINs and Bank Verification Numbers as well as other mandatory biodata information,’’ he said. (NAN)

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