National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that about 4,668 workers who lost their jobs and weren’t able to secure another after four months have withdrawn a total sum of N2.56bn from their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020.
The amount represented 25 percent of the total balance in their RSAs domiciled with Pension Fund Administrators.
“Approval was granted for payment of N2.56bn to 4,668 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work but unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement during the second quarter,” part of the statement reads.
According to PenCom, the workers comprised of 144 Federal Government employees, 261 state governments employees and 4,263 private sector employees.
The Commission further disclosed that the total pension assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme increased to N11.08 trillion as of the end of June despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.
PenCom report revealed that the bulk of the funds, totaling N7.45 trillion, had been invested in Federal Government’s securities including FGN bonds, treasury bills, agency bonds, sukuk and green bonds.
Other investment portfolios where the operators invested the funds are real estate investment trusts, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.
Meanwhile, in a way to mitigate the hardship of workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic, the Commission would give them a quarter of their savings if they failed to get another job after four months, PenCom’s spokesperson, Peter Aghahowa has disclosed.
He said, “The contributory pension is designed with in-built palliatives, which is being able to access 25 percent of your Retirement Savings balance in a situation whereby you lose your job.
“So if you lose your job, after four months you can access 25 percent of your RSA contribution.”