*Insists They Only Train Pension Desk Practitioners, Not Affiliate Of PenCom
BY NKECHI NAECHE-ESEZOBOR–The Association Of Pension Desk Practitioners of Nigeria (ASSOPEP) on Tuesday debunked claimed of alleged fraudulent activities leveled against it by National Pension Commission (PenCom).
The Association in a statement made available to BusinessToday Online said it has at no time claimed to be an affiliate or representative of
PENCOM or any PFA or PFC at any time.
The Commission had last week distanced itself from the activities of ASSOPEP, noting it has no affiliation with the group.
PenCom also warned that the claims to resolve pension issues and assist retirees in securing their retirement benefits is false.
The Association statement thus read: ” Our attention has been drawn to the National Pension Commission (PenCom or
Commission) disclaimer on the Association of Pension Desk Practitioners of Nigeria (ASSOPEP) published on Friday, April 7th, 2023.
“We hereby wish to state categorically that ASSOPEP has at no time claimed to be an affiliate or representative of PENCOM or any PFA or PFC at any time.
“We have never collected money from anyone with a promise to assist him or her to recover their fund in the Pension system.
” We rather engage in the training and retraining of Pension Desk practitioners
and other employees to have adequate knowledge of Pension, retirement
planning and entrepreneurship.
“In the course of our training, we have listened to challenges contributors face
such as unremitted contribution by Employer to PFAs, and inability to access their Pension after retirement due to issues of documentation and advise accordingly
“We also at every point in time during our training interactions reiterate that
there’s no alternative to the PRA 2004 and 2014 as amended when questions are asked as to why a retiree cannot be paid in full for all his/her contributions.
“We have also noted that most members of the public, especially the informal
sector, lack adequate knowledge of Pension and retirement planning, and we have encouraged them to enrol in the contributory pension scheme through our regular advocacy.
” Our Association activities and public advocacy has received favourable
media publicity such as ASSOPEP Pension Conference held at Abuja 16-19 November 2021 where we call for payment of N400 billion owed contributory pension scheme
subscribers and was covered by more than seven media houses
“Our past conferences have been attended by States Pension Board Directors, State Head of Service, Directors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Pension Desk Practitioners and a host of others without any adverse report
on our activities.
“ASSOPEP do not claim of resolving pension issues and assisting retirees in securing their retirement benefits rather we state that we upskill or train employees in pension matters and thereby with adequate pension knowledge they are less likely to commit mistakes that will delay the payment of their pension. This is based on interaction with such employees and discovering
that most causes of the delay in their pension payment is based on ignorance.
“PenCom or any PFA have not received any letter from ASSOPEP requesting
for payment of any pension contributor neither has any contributor paid us to do.
“ASSOPEP has never claimed to be consulting with or for any Pension Fund
Administrators (PFAs) and PenCom
We appreciate lots of favourable testimony from those who have participated in our training and public advocacy.