A total of 1,775 workers withdrew N3.09bn from their Retirement Savings Accounts held by Pension Fund Administrators in six months after making additional voluntary contributions, the National Pension Commission has said.
PenCom said this in its quarterly report on ‘Access to voluntary contributions’ obtained by our correspondent.
While 766 active contributors withdrew N1.42bn in the third quarter of 2021, 988 contributors withdrew N1.67bn in the fourth quarter of 2021.
PenCom stated that, “During the quarter under review, the commission granted approval of withdrawal from voluntary contributions amounting to N1.42bn to 787 contributors.”
It added that in the fourth quarter, “The department granted approval of withdrawal from voluntary contribution accounts amounting to N1.67bn to 988 contributors.”
According to PenCom’s guidelines, voluntary contributions are non-obligatory contributions made by any employee in the formal sector through the employer, for the purpose of enhancing future retirement benefits.
They are savings made over the statutory minimum of 18 per cent that is mandated by PenCom.
Voluntary contributions would be made from employee’s legitimate income, which should not be more than a third of the month’s salary in line with the Labour Act, 1990, the guideline stated.
PenCom recently reviewed its circular on voluntary contributions after it observed high incidence of withdrawals.
The main thrust of the circular was that voluntary contributions could only be withdrawn once in every two years, while subsequent withdrawals would be on incremental contributions from the last withdrawal.