As workers in Nigeria continue to lose their jobs, a total of 10,619 ex-employees have been forced to fall back on their pension savings, withdrawing about N5.02 billion in the first quarter of 2021, Q1’21.

The amount represents 25 percent of their total savings, according to a report released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom).

But the total number of the effected individuals shows a 9.9 percent drop compared to 11,796 that withdrew N5.33 billion during the preceding quarter, Q4’20.

It will be recalled that the Pension Reform Act permits workers who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months to apply for 25 per cent of their pension savings.

The report stated: “During Q1’21, the Commission granted approval of withdrawal from voluntary contribution accounts amounting to N1,231,715,792.02 to 757 contributors. This is against approval to 924 contributors for the withdrawal of voluntary contributions amounting to N1,011,283,273.66.

During Q1’21, the Commission granted approval for enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 3,398 retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000.00 or below and considered insufficient to procure Programmed Withdrawal or Retiree Life Annuity of a reasonable amount for an expected life span. In this regard, a total sum of N803,027,095.31 was paid to the 3,398 retirees from private sector.”

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