National Pension Commission, Pencom, has described as unwarranted and contrary to extant labour laws the threat issued by the River State chapter of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, to disrupt work because of the draft Guidelines on Withdrawal of Voluntary Contribution.
Pencom explained that the TUC and Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, are represented at the highest level of their leadership on the Board of the National Pension Commission, therefore an obvious contradiction for TUC to insinuate the absence of consultation in the process of subsidiary legislation by the Commission.
A statement issued by the Head, Communications, Pencom, Mr. Emeka Onuora Friday said “Consequently, the threat is utterly uncalled for and cannot be a reasonable basis for friction.”
It noted as very worrisome indeed, the obvious lack of appreciation of the terms and script of the subject matter of the threat (i.e. draft Guidelines on Withdrawal of Voluntary Contribution).
According to the statement, it “implies that it has neither been read nor seen prior to the publication”.
Pencom submitted that an appropriate enlightenment on the provision of the draft and exposed subsidiary legislation is paramount for a deep appreciation of the issues canvassed in the draft guideline and appropriate and constructive response and/or observations forwarded to the Commission. This, it said, would be the only commendable approach to the comfort of all voluntary contributors under the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS.
It further stated that “sequel to the consultative approach of the National Pension Commission over matters that it has right under the extant statute to deal with, the draft Guidelines on Voluntary Contribution was exposed to all pension operators for review and comments. Consequently, the reactionary response does not warrant the duration for the expected comments and /or review intended and canvassed by the Commission”.
Pencom pointed out that in the light of the above, “it is imperative to note that the provisions of the draft Guidelines on Voluntary Contributions do not negate Section 4(3), Section 10(4) or any other Section in the Pension Reform Act, 2014.
“The Commission therefore wishes to draw the attention of the public to the following: “RSA contributions should not be confused with Bank Savings Accounts. RSAs are in fact and indeed not the same as Bank Accounts.
“Voluntary Contributions into RSAs are meant to boost Contributors’ final pension.
“The draft Guidelines on Voluntary Contributions are consistent and aligns with Government’s fight against financial malpractices and money laundering.
“The draft Guidelines on Voluntary Contributions is still an exposure draft. It is pertinent for the TUC Rivers State Council to harmonise its position on the issue and make useful input to the draft Guidelines.”

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