Pension Contributors To Access 25 Percent Of Savings For Mortgage

PenCom DG, Aisha Dahir Umar

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) is into talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), mortgage firms, and other relevant stakeholders to allow pension contributors access 25 per cent of savings in their respective Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) for mortgage finance.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had in November 2018 highlighted Nigeria’s present housing deficit to be 20 million houses, which experts said over N16 trillion would be needed to close the gap.

According to Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) may, subject to guidelines issued by PenCom, apply a percentage of pension fund assets in the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) towards the payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by an RSA holder.

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However in a bid to bridge the N16 trillion housing deficits in the country, the acting director-general of PenCom, Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, confirmed that the commission was working on the guidelines to enhance the implementation of the initiative.

“The commission is currently working with the CBN and other stakeholders in the mortgage sector in developing appropriate guidelines. These guidelines are expected to be issued in 2019, and will allow RSA contributor to access and utilise part of his or her RSA balance towards equity contribution in respect of home-ownership mortgages.”

The commission however promised dialogue with relevant stakeholders to insure implementation of the Initiative as it would boost the real estate market and equally contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

Meanwhile PenCom urged intending beneficiaries to make formal applications to their respective PFAs when the initiative starts adding that a contributor, it was learnt, can only access this mortgage finance once in a lifetime

In the same note Osinbajo, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Office (OSGF), Gabriel Aduda, at a conference recently, charged the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to rise to the greater responsibility of seeking innovative ways to attract funding for housing provision, through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and partnership with relevant government and financial institutions.

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