General FAQs (21)
What is the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS)?
The Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) which commenced in 2004 is fully funded, privately managed, with third party in custody of the funds and assets and is based on individual accounts. It ensures that everyone who has worked receives his/her retirement benefits as and when due
Is CPS backed by any Government Regulation?
The scheme is backed by the Pension Act 2004.
What regulatory body supervises this scheme?
The National Pension Commission regulates and supervises the CPS. This body is also responsible for licensing and regulating the activities of Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFC), as well as overseeing the all policies and guidelines connected to Pension Matters.
Is Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) mandatory for every worker?
The scheme is mandatory for employees of the Federal Government, the FCT and Private sector employers with more than three employees.
How do I participate in the Scheme?
As an employee or contributor, you are required to open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with any of the Licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) where you remit your monthly contributions.
How do I participate in the Scheme?
Once you have your RSA, you would contribute 8% of your monthly emolument while your employer would make an additional contribution of 10% into your RSA.
Can I contribute more than the requested 8%?
Yes you can. It is called Voluntary contributions.
What if my employer deducts my contribution of 8% but fails to remit to my RSA?
The Pension Act demands that such employer would pay a penalty of 2% for every month of default once the case is reported to and verified by PENCOM.
What does the PFA do with my contributions?
The PFA invests your contributions in accordance with the guidelines of PENCOM. Proceeds from such investments will be credited to your RSA.
How do I contact my PFA?
You may contact us via any of our communication channels. Call us on 08165722731, 097000800 or send us an email at email@example.com
How do I monitor my Savings?
Besides receiving SMS alerts on remittances into your account, Your PFA sends periodic statements to your specified address. You may also obtain login details from your PFA for online statements.
Is it possible for me to change my PFA?
Under the Pension Reform Act 2014, an employee or contributor is allowed to move his RSA from one PFA to another once in a year only without having to tender reasons for the change. However, this window is managed and will soon be opened by PENCOM.
When can I start to withdraw money from my RSA?
Withdrawals are permitted upon retirement. If you retire at 50years old and above, or you had to retire below 50years old due to physical and mental incapacity, you would have access to withdrawals from your RSA. However, if you are below 50years old and you resign or are disengaged from your employment, you would be allowed to withdraw from your RSA only after 4 months of being unable to secure an employment.
What are the charges on my RSA?
Under the current regulation, a maximum monthly charge of NGN100 and N5 VAT for every monthly contribution. Kindly note that PFA Charges for the services provided on the RSA are determined by the guidelines as provided by PENCOM per time.
As an intending Client, is my biometrics required?
Yes. The use of Fingerprint Identification System (biometrics) for RSA holder’s identification by PENCOM is soon to commence.
Can a PIN be generated for an RSA holder without an Employer Code?
No. The Employer code must be obtained before a PIN can be generated.
What are the requirements for generating Employer Code?
The required documents include: Copy of CAC certificates, Tax Identification Number (TIN), Company's Business Address and Nature of Business
Can an employer choose to bear full responsibility of the contributions to the scheme?
Yes. Where an employer chooses to bear the full responsibility of the Scheme, the employer contribution shall not be less than 20 percent of the monthly emolument of the employee.
Are pension contributions taxable?
All interest, dividends, profits, investment and other income accruable to pension fund and amount payable as a retirement benefit shall not be taxed.
In an event of death, how would my beneficiaries access my savings and what documents are needed?
Below are the following documents that would be needed:
- Letter of Administration issued from high court/enrolment order/will admitted to probate stating the legal beneficiary/beneficiaries.
- Medical certificate of the cause of death issued by a certified physician.
- Certificate of death registration obtained from National population commission
- Letter of introduction from deceased employer stating the date of death/birth ,it should also introduce the next of kin.
What are “Non-Interest Funds”?
Non-Interest Funds are investment instrument that complies with Sharia (Islamic law). They are also known as “Ethical Investments”, “Islamic Financing” or “Shari’ah Compliant Finance” as it has its own product, services and contracts that differ from conventional investment instrument. Non interest finance is based on the principles of profit and risk sharing, transparency in pricing, equitability, fairness and a business model that prohibits uncertainty.
As ethical investments evolve in frontier markets like Nigeria, retail and institutional investors are showing increasing interest in Shari’ah-compliant funds due to its ethical nature.
Corvid 19 - Impact On Investment Returns (10)
There has been reduction in my RSA account why?
All Pension funds are pooled together and invested in 2 broad classes of investment:
- Fixed Income Investments: These are types of financial Instruments where the returns (i.e. Interest) are determined from the first day of the investments. These includes Bonds, Treasury Bills etc. they are used to preserve capital.
- Variable Income Instruments: These are types of financial Instruments where the returns (i.e. Interest) are not defined from the first day of the investments. These includes Stocks, Infrastructure Funds etc. They are used to enhance return, where it is possible to make returns in excess of 20% but also possible to lose value.
This second category of investment obtain their value from daily prices that are derived from trading carried out on the Securities Exchanges. Therefore, on days when lower prices are posted by Securities Exchanges, values of the investments in our funds will be lower for such days.
The balance I received in December 2019 is higher than what I received in Mar 2020
The global economy is currently being rattled by the COVID-19 health pandemic which has infected over 3million people and killed over 200,000 globally.
This pandemic which has disrupted all economic activities globally has also affected the Nigerian Financial Markets and prices of Financial Assets have suffered as a result. The erosion of some value of your RSA Balance is therefore as a result of these depressed Asset Prices.
We are however taking active measures to ensure minimum effect on our Customer’s RSA balances while we are very positive on a reversal of lost value post Covid-19.
Does it mean that there hasn’t been contribution on my account since this year?
There have been contributions into your account, however the impact of the erosion of the previously earned Income on your accounts may have been more than the amount of contribution posted over this period.
If it is because of the Pandemic should it not be affecting my ROI and not my current balance?
Only the portion of the Returns earned on your RSA balance is being affected.
Is the dip in investment ROI affecting all the funds? Can I move back to Fund2?
All Funds have a combination of both Fixed Income and Variable Income Instruments and are all being affected by the current market depression.
Can investments in my RSA be paused completely or partially to avert losses in my portfolio until the crisis is over?
Because each contributor’s funds are pooled together with others and invested in various asset classes, it would be impossible to suspend any one beneficiary’s portion of an entire investment.
Also, PenCom regulation does not allow for PFAs to leave funds being managed uninvested except in the event of a complete shutdown of all financial markets.
How long does NORRENBERGER PENSIONS think this situation will linger and what measures is being taken to protect our funds?
A more realistic expectation of when global economic activities will fully resume will be when a cure/vaccine for the rapidly spreading pandemic is discovered and ready for administration. This could take a while based on evidence of things at the moment.
We have rejigged our strategy to factor in the realities of the Covid-19 situation with a view to preserving the main objective of the Pension Fund Management which is Capital preservation while also seeking to maximize returns within acceptable level of risk-reward trade off.
I recently moved to Fund I but my RSA balance keeps dropping since I moved. Can I move back to Fund II without losing more money?
While you are free to move from one fund to another, the profile of Fund I fits with a young person or someone who still has a lot of years to work before retiring. Since you would not be retiring soon, Fund 1 would be most suitable for you.
Given that markets move in cycles, opportunities to recover whatever declines you may have witnessed will present themselves and whenever this window opportunities opens, the Fund I is better positioned to benefit more from it due to its higher risk-reward trade off.
We always advise that you take a long-term view of your pension funds and be confident that our long-term investment strategy for your fund will deliver you good value in due course. What is currently being witnessed is short term market fluctuations.
Can I move back to Fund 1 after the pandemic is over?
YES, however, movement from one fund to another is once in a year as stipulated by the Commission.
Will the current situation inflation affect the value of my Programmed Withdrawal payment.
The current market decline will not affect Programmed Withdrawal (PW) payments. The current portfolio structure for the Fund IV is such that the fund is hedged against significant short-term market fluctuations.
My Retirement Savings Account (11)
Do I need to check through the employer payment schedule to confirm my Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the total amount on the schedule before forwarding same to Operations for confirmation?
Yes. This will reduce the processing time of your request.
Can I make payments into our RSA Account without first generating PINs for the clients?
No. This practice is not in compliance with standard operational procedure.
Do I need to forward a soft copy version of schedules to Operations?
Yes. This will reduce the time for credit processing.
Do I need to specify Surname, First name and Middle name on the RSA form?
Yes. It is required to identify the RSA Holder.
Must I provide my mobile number on the RSA form?
Yes. It is required for seamless communication
Why do I need to include my Agent Code on the RSA form?
It is to aid the smooth processing of your request.
Can I update my records in the database after signing-on?
Yes. All information pertaining to a RSA holder can be updated in the database. Upon meeting documentation requirements, you can update your Date of Birth.
Can I make Voluntary Contribution while my employer is not making the mandatory contribution?
Yes. You can make voluntary contribution to your RSA account even while your employer is not paying the mandatory pension contribution portion.
How do I download spreadsheet for payment schedule?
You can call any of the phone numbers on our website for the required assistance.
Can I make withdrawals before my retirement?
Yes you can. Below are the criteria that you have to meet for you to be able to withdraw before retirement:
- If you are below 50 years old, you must be off an employment for a minimum of four months.
- You can withdraw additional voluntary contribution after two years of contribution.
How can I retrieve my NORRENBERGER PENSIONS number?
You can call any of the phone numbers on our website, and we will respond to you accordingly.
About My Retirement (10)
What RSA balance will qualify a retiree for Lump Sum?
A minimum RSA Balance of NGN550,000
What is the relationship between Monthly Pension and Lump Sum?
Monthly Pension & Lump Sum have an Inverse relationship. This means that the higher the monthly Pension, the lower the Lump Sum and vice-visa.
My colleague at the same grade/level has a higher lumpsum?
This is a possibility because Lump Sum & Programmed Withdrawal amount are determined by four (4) variables: Age at Retirement, RSA balance at Retirement, Gender and Annual Total Emolument (ATE).
Do I need to use the checklist in documenting an intending retiree?
Do I need to verify my Letter of Administration with the issuing Court before presenting it for processing?
Can I withdraw from my RSA before retiring.
Yes. You can withdraw a maximum of 25% of your RSA Balance before retirement.
Can I withdraw 25% payment more than once?
No. 25% payment can only be withdrawn once. The remaining RSA balance shall be accessed at the retirement.
What is annuity?
It is a string of payments made by Insurance company to its annuitants.
Can I run simultaneously Programmed Withdrawal (PW) and Annuity as a retiree?
Yes. A retiree on PW may choose to use his lump-sum payment as premium for the purchase of annuity.
Is there any fixed percentage for lumpsum?
Lumpsum is residual. There is no fixed percentage.
Multi Funds (11)
What is the multi-fund structure?
The Multi-Fund structure is a framework that aims to align the age and risk profile of RSA holders by splitting the RSA Fund into four (4) distinct Funds. The current RSA Fund will be sub-divided into three separate Funds, while the RSA Retirees Fund would be the 4th Fund.
Can I decide which fund to be assigned to?
On the commencement date, the default mechanism will apply. All active members that are 49 years and below will be placed in Fund II and active contributors above 50 years would be placed in Fund III. However, active contributors may apply to switch between funds. An active contributor can switch from Fund II to Fund I while an active contributor in Fund III can switch to Fund II. All active contributors above 50 years cannot switch to Fund I and retirees cannot move to any other fund types.
When I am in Fund I and then clock 50 years, will I be asked to move to Fund II by choice or Fund III by reason of age?
No, you will be moved by default of age limit to fund III, but you have the option to move to fund II thereafter and you can opt out within every twelve (12) months.
As a retiree, can I move to other funds?
No, as a retiree you are not allowed to move out of Fund IV as it has limited risk attached to it.
Is there any restriction/charge to my movement between funds?
You can move once in a year without any charge but an additional movement in the same year shall attract a fee to be determined by PENCOM.
Do I have the option of selecting the instruments my funds can be invested in?
No. PFAs are the Fund managers and have the responsibility of investing your funds in secured investments so as to ensure good yields on your funds.
Can I split my current savings to 2 different funds?
No, this is not possible because you are only identified with one PIN and cannot be allowed to have contributions in more than one fund structure at the same time.
If my date of birth is wrongly captured, under which Fund Type will I be profiled?
Your fund will be profiled using your provided date of birth. However, you can still check and update your records with your PFA before the commencement of the transition.
What is the relationship between the transfer window and the Multi-Fund structure?
There is no relationship between the transfer window and the multi-fund structure. The transfer window allows the customer the choice of moving his/her RSA from one PFA to another while the multi fund allows a customer the choice of moving from one fund type to another within the same PFA.
Will the movement of Funds affect my account balance?
No. The balance in your account will not be affected. However, your unit price will change depending on the fund type.
What is the effect of movement to a new fund on my Voluntary Contribution?
Your RSA PIN accommodates both your Pension contribution and your voluntary contribution, so both will be transferred to your preferred choice of fund and managed in line with the provisions of the circular for voluntary contribution.
Micro Pension Funds (8)
What is Micro Pension Funds?
Micro Pension refers to an arrangement for the provision of pension to the self-employed, and persons operating in the informal sector (fashion designers, mechanics, market sellers, lawyers, taxi drivers, etc.) through the Contributory Pension Scheme. The primary objective of the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) is to provide retirement benefits to the Micro Pension contributors.
How old must I be to start Micro pensions?
Anyone from ages 18 years can open a Micro Pension account. However, those below the stated age can still open an account with the consent of their parents or guardian.
What is the difference between Micro Pension and co-operative society?
Unlike the co-operative society, Micro Pension’s primary aim is to help you plan for your retirement. Funds are invested securely till the time of retirement. With the Micro Pension, you still have access to 25% of your contribution at any time before retirement.
What is the difference between Micro Pensions and Voluntary Contributions?
Voluntary Contribution can only be made through an employer while Micro Pensions can be made individually with no maximum limit of contribution.
Can I have access to my savings before retirement?
Yes you can access up to 25% of your contributions to the Micro Pensions Scheme at any time for contingency. The remaining 75% will be invested on prevalent compound interest rates until the age of retirement when you can have access to lumpsum or programmed withdrawal.
Do I need my employer to make remittance for me?
How can I monitor my money with the Micro Pension?
Besides receiving SMS alerts on remittances into your account, Your PFA sends periodic statements to your specified address. You may also obtain login details from your PFA for online statements.
How often do I get to make remittance to my Micro Pension account?
You can schedule your remittance based on your preferences either daily, weekly or monthly.
RSA FUND VI (NON-INTEREST FUND) (16)
Since the fund is called NON-INTEREST, does it mean there will be no ‘growth’ on my contribution?
Despite the Fund being called “Non-Interest Fund”, this does not mean there would not be Returns on Investment (ROI) on your RSA Account. Sharia’ compliant investment adopts other investment structures including the risk sharing structure between parties to the transaction.
Other Shari’ah compliant investment structures include the cost plus selling, leasing, profit sharing, joint venture arrangement and insurance structures.
Allowable Fixed Income Instruments for the RSA Fund VI include FGN Sukuk, Corporate Sukuk, Euro Sukuk, Infrastructure Sukuk, Shari’ah compliant money market instruments.
Also, in the Variable Income Space, there are Shari’ah compliant listed companies on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and mutual funds with opportunities for capital gains and dividends.
Are there existing Shari’ah compliant Non-Interest Investment in Nigeria?
Yes, there are. Although the market for Non-interest Shari’ah compliant investment is quite novel, the first Non Interest bond issuance (Sukuk) in Nigeria was issued by the Osun State Government (a sub-national government) in 2013 with proceeds used for the construction of 26 schools using the Ijarah Sukuk structure.
Also, in 2017, for the first time in history, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) issued a N100 billion Non-Interest (Sukuk) bond with proceeds used to help fund road projects.
To support the Fund VI ecosystem for effective implementation, are there existing Shari’ah compliant financial institution(s) in Nigeria?
• Jaiz Bank Plc (A full-fledged Islamic lender operating since 2012)
• Taj Bank Limited (A full-fledged Islamic lender operating since 2019)
• Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc (Provides Islamic Finance services)
• Sterling Bank Plc (Approval in principle to launch an Islamic finance arm).
• Lotus Capital: A halal investment management company specialized in Shari’ah compliant asset management, private wealth management and financial advisory services
Are there opportunities for growth in Non Interest Shari’ah compliant fund in Nigeria?
Yes. Firstly, Nigeria has over 100 Muslim citizens and is home to the largest population of Muslims in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Secondly, the implementation of the Non-Interest Fund for the Nigeria Pension Industry is poised to promote increasing activities and further drive pension inclusion in Nigeria.
Furthermore, with the PFA’s being able to invest in Non-Interest Shari’ah compliant fund, there would be increased issuance Non-interest instrument which would be over-subscribed.
What are Non-Interest Compliant Instrument?
The Regulation on Investment of Pension Fund Assets (Investment Regulation) defined “Non-interest compliant instrument” as: Financial securities and specialist investment funds that comply with the provisions of Islamic Commercial Jurisprudence (Shari’ah) and any other established non-interest principles, as approved by the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE), or any other body, constituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What investment instrument is Fund VI eligible to invest in?
i. Government Sukuk, (Including Islamic Treasury Bills and Euro Sukuk) issued by FGN or FGN Agencies and Infrastructure Sukuk, backed by FGN/CBN guarantee
ii. Corporate Sukuk (including Sharia’ah complaint ABS, MBS, GDV, Euro Sukuk and Infrastructures Sukuk)
iii. Supranational Sukuk
iv. Shari’ah compliant Money Market Instrument
v. Sharia’ah compliant ordinary shares (including GDRs)
vi. Sharia’ah complaint infrastructure funds
vii. Shari’ah compliant Private Equity Funds
viii. Shari’ah compliant Open/Closed/Hybrid Funds
ix. Shari’ah compliant Real Estate Funds
It is also important to note that Fund VI assets are also allowed to be invested in conventional assets where a PFA is unable to find approved Non-Interest instruments. The conventional assets are to be phased out as more approved Non-Interest instruments become available.
Can non-compliant assets be included in Fund VI?
PenCom allows Fund VI assets to be invested in conventional assets where a PFA is unable to find approved non-interest instruments. Overtime, the conventional assets would be phased out as more approved non-interest instrument become available.
The conventional securities to augment Sharia-compliant assets could be interest bearing but should not be in sectors/business whose underlying assets/products do not meet the basic ethical principles. Examples include companies into alcoholic beverages, pornography, weaponry, gambling/betting, speculation etc.
Who is eligible to transfer to RSA Fund VI?
RSA Holders in Fund I, Fund II and Fund III are eligible to move their RSA contributors to Fund VI (Active Fund VI)
Also, Retirees in Fund IV are eligible to move their RSA contributions to Fund VI (Retiree Fund VI)
It is also important to note that Fund VI shall be separated into two funds. They Include:
i. Active Non Interest Fund (Active Fund VI): Contributors in Fund I, II and III that have elected to move their contributions to Fund VI
ii. Retiree Non Interest Fund (Retiree Fund VI): For Retirees in Fund IV that move their contributions to retiree Fund VI
Note: RSA contributors in Fund II can move their contributions directly to Retiree Fund VI at the time of retirement
Is RSA Fund VI open to non-Muslims?
Yes. The RSA Fund VI is open to Muslims and non-Muslims. The Non-Interest fund offers to RSA Holders who are interested in having their retirement savings managed in an ethically conscious way which would benefit the people, economy and are of social good.
What are the key benefits in implementing the RSA Fund VI
The implementation of the Non-Interest Fund (Fund VI) by the pension Fund Administrators would lead to increased issuance of Shari’ah complaint instrument.
Deepen the Nigeria capital market
Financial inclusion of RSA Holders to invest in ethical and environmentally friendly instrument
How can I transfer to Fund VI?
Eligible RSA holders seeking to move to Fund VI can do so in accordance with the existing regulation dealing with active choices which would involve hand written request to transfer. You can always reach out to us on your choice of moving to the RSA Fund VI.
Are there restrictions for the investment of the RSA Fund VI?
The Non-Interest Fund (Fund VI) shall not be invested in the production or trading of alcohol, pornography, weaponry, gambling/betting, speculation, interest earning ventures and other ventures
How would Fund VI be managed?
Fund VI shall be based on the principles of Wakala Bil-Istithmar (Investment management Contract) where the PFA would act as the investment agent for active RSA contributors in Fund VI while the principles of Mudarabah shall be used for retirees in Fund IV who opted for Fund VI.
Would there be a governance structure for the smooth implementation of the Non-interest fund (RSA Fund VI)?
The Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE) shall serve as an advisory body to the Commission on Islamic Finance matters and specifically on all subsidiary legislations on investment of Fund VI assets.
Furthermore, there shall be a Committee of Resident Shari’ah Advisors established for the Pension Industry to ensure continuous Shari’ah audit and purification of the Investment Pool of Fund VI assets.
The Resident Shariah Advisors shall also be responsible for the purification and disposal of Non-Permissible Income, where investment was done in conventional non-Shariah-compliant instruments or any accrued income that is non-permissible under Shari'ah.
What are the applicable fees for RSA Fund VI
The Principle of Wakalah Bil-istithmar shall apply to the fees charged by PFAs on Fund VI. Consequently, Fund VI fees shall be charged as a percentage of the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the investment of Fund VI assets as defined in the Regulation on fees Structure and other relevant Circulars issued by the Commission.
Administration fees shall be charged per RSA holder by PFAs, to cover cost of registration and administering each RSA in line with the provisions of the Regulation on Fees Structure issued by the Commission. Furthermore, income based fees shall be charged for Retirees in Fund VI.
To ensure proper governance of the Fund, are there relevant standard setting bodies for the implementation of RSA Fund VI
It is required that all PFAs comply with the relevant standards on disclosure issued by standard setting organizations including the following:
i. Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN)
ii. Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and
iii. Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).