The 75 per cent lump sum proposal sponsored by Senator Oluwole Oke at the National Assembly, if passed into law, may destroy the very essence of pension, the Managing Director, IEI-Anchor Pension Limited, Glory Etaduovie, has said.
Etaduov, who spoke with journalists on the theme: ?Industry Challenge and Ignorance on the Pension Industry Activities? in Lagos, said the essence of pension is to ensure steady income at retirement.
He said the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) is a social service that is ??pro-government, pro-people and they simply cannot play politics with it??.
He described what he called the ignorance of the activities of the industry is disturbing, stating that many of the leaders in the country show this symptom. He urged the leaders to cherish and grow it rather than deploying ways to kill it, stressing that Pension is a social service.
He said: ?Pension funds is not a pool of funds that can be accessed easily, as thought by many. They are individual accounts just like your personal accounts. No one can access more than he can. It took a lot of planning, discipline and diligence to assemble the funds.
?The 75 per cent proposal sounds exciting but it is not futuristic. Steady pension payment is to both re-settle a retiree into a new life without creating a radical difference. It also retains income consistency considering the length of time one may live, up to 30 years of life after retirement. Many who may agitate for the 75 per cent lump sum in the name of business investment or building a house, may lose their money for not being skilled in business.
Noting that managing pension fund requires a special skill,Etaduov said: ??Some may be duped of it. Managing bulk sum is not an easy skill, especially if it looks like your last chance for income at old age.We will all get there.We must not forget that aging is the alternative to dying and building a house should really not be with pension. It must be emphasised that the common complaints of delayed payments are not from the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) but the effects of transition from the old scheme to the new one.
?The government is making efforts to pay up the accumulation of the old scheme to update the individual retiree accounts, hence, a lot of emphasis on using the Paris Club fund for pensions and salaries arrears. Pension business takes care of an important part of life when everything is looking down. It is a social service. It must be protected not destroyed. All of us will get there some day??.