Senate passes the Pension Reform Bill

The Senate on Tuesday passed the Pension Reform Bill  which prescribes a minimum of 10 years imprisonment for any person found guilty of stealing pension funds. The bill also prescribes that any Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) or Pension Fund Custodian (PFC) who misappropriates pension fund will be liable to refunding three times the value of the amount diverted. The passage of the bill followed the conclusion of clause-by-clause consideration of the report of the Senate’s Committee on Establishment and Public Service. The bill, if signed into law, would automatically repeal the Pension Reform Act, 2004, thereby making it possible for every person who worked either in the public and or private sector, to receive pension as at and when due. It states that all monies received as penalty by the Pension Commission shall be paid into the Pension Protection Fund expected to be established under section 82 of the Act. Apart from payment of fines and serving the required jail terms, the bill also provides sanction of forfeiture of property, asset or fund to the Federal Government on anyone found to have misappropriated pension funds. It prescribes a fine of N10 million on any PFA which failed to meet the obligations of pension contributors while each of the directors of the firm would pay N5 million as penalty. It further stipulated that a PFA which failed to comply with any provision of the Act “shall be liable to a penalty of not less than N500,000 for each day that the non-compliance continues.” In addition, according to the bill, the PFA will forfeit the profit from that investment to the beneficiaries of the Retirement Savings Accounts while it is also to make up in the case of any loss. It also provides that for anyone to be qualified for appointment as Director General of PENCOM such person must have 15 years post qualification experience, in addition to other requirements. Via @ReporterTimes

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