Naomi Aduku joined AXA Mansard in April 2015 as the head, Business Development of AXA Mansard Pensions Limited. She holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and has attended several training programmes in Management, Financial and Credit Analysis amongst others.
The typical mindset of young people to pensions is that it is something older people worry about and as such they are not concerned about it. What are your thoughts on this?
It is best to start saving for retirement when one is young. With moderate contributions set aside monthly, one can save for retirement and avoid carrying a heavy financial burden in old age. Young people have an excellent opportunity to start building up their retirement fund from their youth rather than carry the burden in their old age.
In your opinion, to what extent have Nigerian professionals embraced the contributory pension system?
As a result of the statutory nature of the contributory pension scheme; i.e., CPS, compliance has generally been good among blue chip employers where many professionals work. In addition to this, there is very good compliance by professional services firms across the country, and in the federal public service. Some States are also at different levels of implementation and have therefore embraced the scheme.
What is your advice to Nigerians that are skeptical about the security of the funds in their pension accounts and if they will be able to access the funds at the right time?
With regards to safety of pension contributions. There are numerous well-functioning safeguards and protections embedded in the enabling legislation, as well as regulations issued by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), to ensure the safety of pension contributions. For example, there is a clear separation of roles between pension fund administrators (PFAs) and pension fund custodians (PFCs), which means custody of the funds is separate from management.
Of note, since inception of the contributory pension scheme over 12 years ago, there has been no single instance of fraud or inability to meet obligations to contributors.
Tell us about AXA Mansard Pensions Limited.
AXA Mansard Pensions Limited was incorporated in 2006 as Penman Pensions Limited. In the last quarter of 2014, AXA Mansard Insurance plc (formerly known as Mansard Insurance plc),one of the leading Nigerian insurance companies, acquired a majority interest in Penman Pensions, thereby becoming the majority shareholder with a view to repositioning and transforming the company. Following the acquisition, the company was renamed AXA Mansard Pensions Limited.
AXA Mansard Pensions is licensed to operate as a Pension Fund Administrator to both private and public sector employees.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is set to open the RSA transfer window, what will be the implication of this?
I believe both the pensions industry and customers will be better for it. Service will be taken to the next level with PFAs vying to ensure they retain their customers.
What interests you in the industry, what have you learnt?
The fact that this is a well thought out system that ensures that, by default an employee is saving and planning for his/her retirement from day one. It’s a system that looks out for all workers to ensure a good life after having worked for so long.
What strategies would you advise young professionals adopt to help them achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
Remain focused and diligent. Have a passion for what you currently do. Put in the hours, and stay committed.
What is your business philosophy?
My personal philosophy is this: No excuses! You will always find a reason not to do something. Don’t find a reason, do it.
What is your advice to young ladies just starting out in the career path, hoping to excel in their chosen career?
You can do this! Resilience is key.