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INTERVIEW: Data recapture exercise will benefit RSA holders immensely, says PenCom DG

INTERVIEW: Data recapture exercise will benefit RSA holders immensely, says PenCom DG
September 20
10:58 2022

PenCom’s Director General, Aisha Dahir-Umar, speaks on the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

TheCable: The National Pension Commission (PenCom) recently issued a press release inviting all retirement savings account (RSA) holders to visit any branch of their pension fund administrators (PFAs) to participate in the ongoing data recapture exercise. What informed the exercise?

Aisha Dahir-Umar: The ongoing data recapture exercise addresses the challenges with the legacy RSA registration database that was mired with multiple RSA registrations and incomplete contributors information. Furthermore, the exercise is to obtain correct and up-to-date personal information from all contributors (i.e. both active employees and retirees) that registered under the contributory pension scheme (CPS) before the deployment of the enhanced contributor registration system (ECRS) on 1 July 2019. In addition, the exercise is intended to facilitate the harmonisation of the contributors’ database with the national identity database, maintained by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in line with the federal government’s directive to all agencies that maintain identity databases.

How would the data recapture exercise benefit RSA holders?

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The DRE is of immense benefit to the RSA holder, as it will facilitate the payment of retirement benefits to RSA holders and transfer by RSA holders from one PFA to another. The DRE would also allow RSA holders to amend incorrect personal details earlier submitted to PFAs and assist the commission in identifying and eliminating multiple RSA registrations from the contributors registration system (CRS) database.

The press release on DRE stated that two agents, i.e. Payone Solution Systems Limited and Afritech Multi Concept Limited, were engaged by PFAs to carry out the DRE in line with PenCom’s approval. Does PenCom monitor the activities of these agents to ensure they are diligent in the exercise in line with the commission’s standards?

The National Data Bank Management Department (NDMD) is the department of the Commission responsible for regulating and monitoring the activities of the agents appointed by PFAs. The NDMD ensures that the Agents are operating within set standards through the following:

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  • strict supervision of the agents’ processes in line with validation rules stipulated in the commission’s working guide for data recapture exercise of registered contributors.
  • Spot checks on various DRE locations across the country’s six geo-political zones.
  • Providing a complaints resolution channel, [email protected], to enable the commission quickly track and resolve complaints from RSA holders.
  • Ensuring RSA holders demand and collect a copy of acknowledgement slips from their PFAs after successfully submitting their request for recapture along with corresponding supporting documents (where necessary). PFAs must provide feedback to RSA holders within five working days.

How long is the DRE expected to last?

It should last for one year, ending on 30 June 2023. However, it is pertinent to note that PFAs would continue to recapture RSA holders till the last RSA holder registered before 1 July 2019 is recaptured.

Given the nature of the exercise, RSA holders’ data will be captured by the agents. What steps has PenCom taken to ensure that the data is secured and not shared with external parties not involved in the exercise?

The information of RSA holders collected by the agents is directly transmitted through a secure and encrypted web-based medium to servers warehoused in the commission to prevent the agents from retaining RSA holders’ data. In addition, the commission established selection criteria for agents’ personnel to ensure high ethical standards and professionalism. Accordingly, the staff of the agents must be appropriately vetted and registered with NIMC. They must also provide traceable addresses and letters of guarantee and execute non-disclosure agreements.

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What happens to RSA holders who cannot present themselves for the recapture exercise?

It is essential for all RSA holders that registered before 1 July 2019 to participate in the data recapture exercise. Failure to do so will hinder them from accessing any service under the contributory pension scheme. Specifically, RSA holders can’t transfer their RSA even if they are unsatisfied with their PFA. Furthermore, they cannot access benefits under the CPS. Therefore, RSA holders must ensure that their RSAs are recaptured and that their information is updated.

Why is the recapture exercise a requirement for RSA transfer?

Confirming that the person initiating the transfer is the same as the RSA holder is vital. Also, the RSA holder’s information on the database must be correct and up to date. Finally, ensuring that the RSA holder does not have multiple registrations is essential.

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