Chinyere stormed into the accountant’s office fuming, in her hand is the last salary pay slip.
Mr. Ade what is the meaning of this now? Mr. Ade not looking up asked “meaning of what?”
Chinyere “my salary is not complete” “how do you mean” Mr. Ade asked. “Look at it now is this pay slip not from your office?” Oh that! yes the company has started deducting Pension from salaries. Common its not much now, Mr. Ade teased. Its just 7.5% of your salary and the company will add 7.5% too. I know you are yet to fill your own form kindly do that before the close of work. You were out of the office when the forms were being passed round for staff to fill. Mr. Ade explained to the pretty angry mother of 4 standing in front of him. You should be grateful you know ( Mr. Ade continued) pension savings is a good way to save for the future and you should be happy the company despite the harsh business whether subscribed to the pension scheme.
Hmmm sir, the salary is not enough as it is and now you have to take 7.5% again Mr. ADE I can’t cope, I have 4 kids to cater for plus my siblings too, and I have to pay tax, 10% tithe to God and weekly offerings, transportation to work and lunch, all these and now pension!! I even heard that accessing pension after retirement is stressful. The story tends to change when you need your money. Also my friend who subscribed to it at Bbb Company complained that deductions from her salary haven’t been remitted to the pension companies for months. “Abeg” all these pension deduction is a scam.
Sir, please single me out of this I don’t want to contribute “abeg” the mother of 4 pleaded. Mr. Ade smiled and explained, I understand all your fears, there is no cause for alarm. Our pension company has put in place a platform to monitor when your pension account is being funded and its easy, you can access that from your phone. This 7.5% deduction is a savings for the future in fact it’s 15% by the time the company adds up their own contribution. Imagine having this savings of 15% every month for another 20yrs you do the math you will be retiring a happy woman. Just adjust your spending and you will be fine. While Mr. Ade spoke she quickly did a mental calculation on how much that amounts to a year *20 years. and she smiled and said out loud NOT BAD LET ME HAVE THE FORM.
Pension contribution is good demand for it is your right.
Two years later Bimpe heard about Chinyere’s pension savings and couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday. Mr. Alabi she yelled, Haba! How can you be a certified accountant and not talk to management on pension scheme. How do you want us to live after retirement or after a long break from work, broke? My friend Chinyere started work with me the same year (3yrs back) and she already has more than half a million as pension savings. And I am here working without future benefits why now?
Mr. Alabi looked up and pointed towards the MDs office you can go speak to him yourself we are all management he replied in a sarcastic tone. Well, if you care to know you and I joined the company about the same year. The company as you know has been faced with a lot of challenges and its barely breaking even not to talk of making profit. As a top executive you should know that. The location of the company is not encouraging in terms of power supply and you can imagine how much diesel we buy to keep the business running. You were here the other day when the local Government came in for tax levy different from the other taxes paid to other Government body. Landlord has just increased the rent by a 100% and we are still contesting that. We generate our light, water, and the increase on the Lekki toll is on us and we will have to reduce our cars movement. You staffs are on the other hand requesting for salary increment and you are here asking that the company carrys another burden of 7.5 % on all staff members for pension scheme. Bimpe I know it’s your right, but unfortunately we can’t cope with such demands. We are barely surviving as an organization and you should be grateful that you earn a living and can save from what you earn and we promise to subscribe once power supply increases and the government supplies us Prepaid meter, and business output increases with huge client patronage and turn over.
We value your input to the growth of the business here Bimpe but unfortunately we are not as big as your friend’s organization. We don’t want to be that company who takes your money and not remit to pension company because we can’t meet with our own part of the bargain. If you decide to join your friends company or other organization where your demands for pension will be met we will understand.
This two illustrations above are challenges faced by Employees and Employers. Both are right in their own sense. But they are issues that require to be addressed by the Pension Company. And government also needs to look into issues raised by Bimpe’s company so that SMEs staffs can enjoy the benefit of Pensions. Is there a monitoring body that monitors organizations that deduct and not remit funds as chinyere pointed. What has been your own experience?