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  • Rukevwe Erakpotobor

How to Choose a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

So you have decided to take the next big step towards securing your retirement. But then, you are not sure which Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) will help you achieve this goal. The severity of this matter is such that your PFA can foster a seamless and enjoyable retirement with easy accessibility and timely payments. They can, however, equally make retirement torturous and frustrating, with drawbacks like inconvenient fund assessments. This is why you must be critical about which PFA you trust with your retirement funds.


Rather than diving headfirst into choosing a PFA, this article highlights key components to look out for as you make informed decisions.



Woman researching on Pension Fund Administrators
How to Choose a Pension Fund Administrator. Credit: Oak Pensions

What is a PFA (Pension Fund Administrator)?

A PFA is the entity you entrust with your retirement savings account, helping you manage funds as you stash them for the future. Think of PFAs as licensed companies responsible for investing and growing your retirement savings, as they work hand in hand with the National Pension Commission (PenCom) which oversees the entire process. 



How to Choose a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

There are a handful of PFAs in Nigeria, each one promising to deliver the best services. However, you must look beyond the surface and focus on the factors we highlight here; 


Confirm if they are Licensed on the Pencom Website

The first thing you want to do is identify the licensed PFAs in Nigeria. A licensed PFA has undergone rigorous screenings under the National Pension Commission and meets the criteria for holding people’s funds as stated in Section 60 of the 2014 Pension Reform Act.


For more transparency, the National Pension Commission has published a list of all licensed PFAs on its website. These are the only companies you should have your eyes fixated on.


Reputation

The next step is narrowing down your list of available options. Since you only want the best, you must find out what people have to say about these companies. Are they well-known? What are the reviews of existing customers and pensioners?


A brand’s reputation says a lot about what it can and will offer you if you affiliate with them. If they have a track record of delayed payments, poor customer service, or fraud, then you know they aren't right for you. You can carry out this research on social media or browse the internet.


Convenience and Accessibility

Time and again, there are cases of people having to undergo obnoxious procedures to access the money in their pension pot. A telltale sign to look out for if you want to boycott this problem is the accessibility of the administrator.


Find out whether they have a modern and fully functioning website and app. Also, learn what their payment method entails and the obligations you’re meant to fulfill to ensure you have no difficulty assessing your funds.



Customer Care

Pay heed to customer care if you want the best from a pension fund administrator. This is because customer service is the primary bridge between you and the administrator. It is also one of the easiest ways to express your concerns and get an immediate response.


You therefore want to confirm that their customer service is responsive and timely in treating customer concerns. It is recommended that you tilt toward PFAs like Oakpensions, which have a strong digital presence, as they tend to be more customer-centric.


Transparency

A good PFA will keep their pensioners informed of things. They should be able to update you on changes made to policies, terms of services, monthly balance statements, etc. From the onset of your transaction, they would also communicate details like service fees and other deductions that might occur as you associate with them. These include management, custodian, administration, regulatory, or any kind of unforeseen payment.  Remember to also look out for the humans behind the brand and not just the image they portray. Who are the key players of the organization and what reputations do they hold?


Pension Advisory and Retirement Planning Service

Industry knowledge and expertise are important features that you shouldn’t sideline when choosing a PFA. This is because a good PFA must provide regular pension advisory services to their customers. They should help you make informed retirement decisions, ushering you into this phase of your life. Oak Pensions, for example, organizes sensitization programs for the active workforce and periodic pre-retirement seminars. 


Can I Transfer a Pension Savings Account?

In Section 13 of the 2014 Pension Reform Act, an employee has a once-in-a-year transfer window to move their retirement savings account from one PFA to another. Now that you know how to choose a pension fund administrator, it’s okay to decide to move from your current administrator to Oak Pensions.


Oak Pensions is duly licensed by PENCOM and has a strong reputation for ensuring timely benefit payments to pensioners. Remember that not getting the right PFA can be disastrous in the long run. 


Contact us at 09087448661 or send an email to info@oakpensions.com to get started. 


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