As companies and organisations both in the public and private sectors continue to streamline their workforce to minimise costs, no fewer than 324,141 sacked workers have withdrawn N113.21 billion from their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) as of the end of June.

These 324,141disengaged workers are contributors who lost their jobs and could not get jobs after four months as well as those who resigned from paid employment and were less than 50 years old.

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) revealed this in its quarterly report for second quarter of 2019 on ‘Withdrawal of 25 per cent of RSA balances.’

The Pension Reforms Act (PRA) 2014 allows contributors, under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged and were unable to secure another job within four months of their sack, to access 25 per cent of the money in their RSAs.

According to the report, the private sector accounted for 308,993 of the disengaged workers who were able to access N107.9 billion from their pension contributions.

The public sector accounted for the remaining 15,148 workers, of which federal government sacked 8,361 members of staff while the states disengaged 6,787 workers, who accessed N5.3 billion during the period.

In the second quarter of the year (April to June), 2019, 10,673 workers who were disengaged from their jobs withdrew N5.2 billion from the pension funds

A breakdown of the figure revealed that private sector accounted for 10,006 of the disengaged workers while the public sector had the remaining 666 employees, of which federal government sacked 192 while the states sacked 475 workers during the period.

According to PenCom, “approval was granted for the payment of N5.28 billion to 10,673 RSA holders who were under the age of 50 years and were disengaged from work and unable to secure another job within four months of disengagement in the second quarter of the year.

“The cumulative total number of RSA holders who were paid benefits for temporary loss of job was 324,141 and were paid a total of N113.21 billion being 25 per cent of the balances of their RSAs as prescribed by the Pension Reform Act 2014.

“A further analysis showed that the private sector accounted for 95.33 per cent of those who benefitted from these payments while the public sector accounted for 4.67 per cent.”

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