By ROYAL IBEH
The Managing Director/CEO, Linkage Assurance PLC, Dr. Pius Apere, has urged the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on the implementation of the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) as specified in the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.
Dr. Apere, while delivering a paper titled: ‘Failure to implement the Guaranteed Minimum Pension in the Pension Reform Act 2014, Impact on the welfare of Nigerian pensioners,’ noted that one of the ways to achieve the pensioners’ social welfare goal is the implementation of the GMP as provided in section 84(1) of the PRA 2014.
He said the act stated that all Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders who have contributed to license Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) for a number of years to be specified by the Commission shall be entitled to a guaranteed minimum pension as may be specified from time to time by the commission.
The GMP, according to the managing director is akin to an income support from the government and can be considered as a variant of social security policy that ensures redistribution of resources to its populace, as it acts as a safety net for pensioners.
He said, the delay in implementation of GMP by PenCom, has defeated the original aim of the GMP provision in PRA 2004 as amended under PRA 2014, particularly during this period of economic recession when the pensioners’ incomes have been eroded by inflation and thus they are living in poverty in retirement.
He said the resultant effect of non-implementation of GMP is the increase in likelihood of more pensioners dying in Nigeria than expected as a result of significant reduction in future pension income to live on.
He however urged the commission to implement the GMP as there is no better time than now to implement it as the current pensioners are in dare need to have a sustainable standard of living in retirement in this period of serious economic hardship facing the country.