New guidelines to regulate Additional Voluntary Contributions’ withdrawals by workers have been released by the National Pension Commission.
One of the Pensions Fund Administrators, Leadway Pensure, said participating customers would only be able to make withdrawals from an AVC account once in two years from the last approved withdrawal date.
The new guidelines also indicated that subsequent withdrawals would be on incremental contributions from the date of last withdrawal.
According to the PFA, 50 per cent of the AVC contributions made by mandatory Retirement Savings Account contributors will be available for withdrawal once in two years and taxes for this category of the AVC withdrawals will be paid only on income earned.
The balance of the 50 per cent would be used to enhance benefits at retirement, the regulator said.
It added that the new guidelines would take effect from December 1, 2017.
PenCom also directed that foreign and exempted contributors should be allowed to make full withdrawals once every two years subject to deduction of taxes on amounts remitted and income earned.
However, contributions of five years and above made by foreign and exempted contributors would not be taxed, it was gathered.
Speaking on the new guidelines, the Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Leadway Pensure PFA, Olusakin Labeodan, explained that the AVC had remained a good platform for individuals who hoped to save for the future.
According to him, the world over, the AVC contributions are used to augment final benefits, encouraging the RSA holders to embrace the scheme.
He added that the benefit of tax savings would still remain despite the update made by PenCom to the AVC withdrawal process, while noting that the revised guidelines were mainly to curb the high rate of the AVC withdrawals and its attendant effects on tax accruing to the government.
“Additional Voluntary Contributions are savings made over the statutory minimum of 18 per cent as mandated by PenCom,” he said.
He added that Leadway Pensure customers are assured of excellent service delivery, prompt payments and competitive returns.
The Pension Reform Act was enacted and signed into law in 2004 to provide a contributory scheme for the payment of retirement benefits of employees in both the public and private sectors.
The Act mandated every employee to open a RSA in their name with any PFA of their choice and notify the employers.
Employers, according to the law, were required to deduct eight per cent of the workers’ monthly remuneration and add another 10 per cent, which should be paid into each employee’s RSA not later than seven days after the salary is paid.