How To Get Your Nigerian Employer To Pay Pension

The Pension Reform Act (PRA) was enacted in 2004, with the view of improving pension contribution for Nigeria employees based on practical experiences.

The compulsory pension scheme was to ensure both employers and employees contribute towards the employee’s retirement pension.

The act requires that Nigerian employers with up to three employees in their business set up a retirement account for the employees.

However, 15 years after its passage, the PRA hasn’t been effectively adhered to by employers, especially those in the private sector.

Most employers blatantly refuse to adhere to the policy, declining to set up pension deduction and payment structures.

Others deduct the amount for a pension from the employee’s salary but refuse to make statutory contributions to the employee’s retirement savings accounts.

Most employees lament about the situation, but nothing is actually done by the firms they work with.

So when they leave the firm, they forfeit all the pension contributions deducted from their salary.

This appalling situation made the National Pension Commission carry out an audit of over 200,000 employers in the country in a bid to identify those who refused to make contributions to their employee’s retirement account.

Although the operation was successful with reports that the commission recovered over 10 million naira unremitted pensions, most companies today still owe their employees a backlog of pension arrears.

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If the pension is being deducted from your salary without a counter payment being deposited into your retirement savings account, then you can follow these steps to force your employer to make the necessary payments.

Please note that these tips are not officially from the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).

It is based on suggestions from HR experts and well-meaning Nigerians.

 

Speak to your employer

The first step to resolving issues regarding to your pension is to speak to your employer.

Talk with the HR or accountant. Ensure you have submitted a pension account where the contributions can be sent.

Most employees are scared to speak up due to fear of irking their superiors.

However, you should have in mind that it is your right, and if deductions are being made from your salary, then you ought to get your money back.

If they promise to make the payments, you can give them time to do so. Most companies prefer to make one large payment occasionally instead of paying monthly.

 

Write Pencom

If your employer still refuses to pay you after discussing with them, then you should contact the regulatory body in charge of pensions.

Send a mail to Pencom attaching proof of your indebtedness and particulars of your employer.

Your company would be contacted and would be made to start making the mandatory contributions.

You can visit a pencom Zonal office in your area.

The contact details and addresses are listed on the pencom website http://pencon.com.gov.ng.

 

Write To Your Employer through a Lawyer

An employer’s refusal to make pension contributions, especially after making deductions is an offense.

According to the pension law, pension deductions and contributions must be made one week after salary payment.

The lawyer will write to your employer explaining the implication of withholding your pension contributions and they would agree on a way forward.

It is that simple. The employer knows they are in the wrong but won’t make any move to correct the anomaly until you do something about it.

If you fail to complain, you won’t get any contributions to your account.

The experience of most of our followers has shown that employers typically don’t like to make pension payments except when forced.

 

While employers deserve all the sticks for refusal to pay monthly payments, part of the blame should go to the pension fund administrators (PFA) who are supposed to cajole them to make the necessary payment.

 

Conclusively, first confirm if your employer pays in large sums occasionally, and check your pension account regularly as most PFA are guilty of not sending SMS alerts to account holders.

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