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21 states approve pension reform law

By The Citizen
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The National Pension Commission has said that 21 out of the 36 states of the federation have passed the Pension Reform Bill into law.

The development was confirmed on Sunday in Abuja by the Head, Zonal Offices Operations Department, PenCom, Mr. Polycarp Anyanwu.

He said seven of the 21 states had started participating in the Contributory Pension Scheme, while the remaining 14 would soon join the scheme.

Anyawu said, 'Twenty-one states of the federation have passed the Pension Reform Bill, which has as its flagship, the Contributory Pension Scheme. Fourteen states have commenced processes leading to the passage of the bill, while seven states have started contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

'One state has yet to make any effort towards adopting the Pension Reform Bill.'

The Pension Reform Act, 2004 introduced the CPS for both the public and private sectors as well as maintained the defined benefit scheme for those exempted from the CPS. It also established PenCom to formulate, direct and oversee the overall policy on pension matters in the country.

Anyawu said the commission would soon open its South-West office in Lagos, adding that all administrative bottlenecks hampering the official opening of the office had been addressed.

He said the Lagos office was very critical and strategic as it would help reduce the burden of retirees who usually travelled to Abuja for pension-related matters.

Anyawu said, 'Already, we have zonal offices in Calabar for the South-South; Ilorin for North-Central; Gombe for North-East; Kano for North-West; and Awka for South-East.

'We had retirees coming there to make enquiries, people come to ask for different things, how to access funds after retirement and complaints about the services they get from Pension Fund Administrators.

'Essentially, the zonal office structure is to get more of our contributors to have easier access to the commission and it brings us closer to the PFAs to enable us have better oversight of their operations.'