By Rukayat Adeyemi, Lagos.
Pension contributors in active employment can now pay for equity contribution for mortgage from the balance of their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA).
PenCom, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr Abdulkadir Dahiru, in Lagos on Friday, said that the policy, specified in the new guidelines of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), would be implemented with immediate effect.
The commission said that the approval was in line with Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014), which allowed RSA holders to use a portion of their RSA balance toward payment of equity for residential mortgage.
It said that the guidelines covered pension contributors in active employment, either as salaried employees or as self-employed persons.
“Interested RSA holders (applicants) must have an Offer Letter for the property duly signed by the property owner and verified by the Mortgage Lender.
“The RSA of the applicant shall have both employer and employee’s mandatory contributions for a cumulative minimum period of 60 months, equivalent to five years.
“A contributor under the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) is also eligible, provided he or she has made contributions for at least 60 months (five years), prior to the date of his or her application,” the commission said.
According to PenCom, RSA holders with less than three years to retirement time are not eligible.
It said that married couples, who were RSA holders, were eligible to make a joint application, subject to individually satisfying the eligibility requirements.
The commission said that RSA holders, who registered before July 1, 2019, must have their records updated through the RSA data recapture.
It said that application for equity contribution for residential mortgage should be forwarded in person and not by proxy.
The commission said that the maximum amount to be withdrawn shall be 25 per cent of the total mandatory RSA balance as at the date of application, irrespective of the value of equity contribution required by the mortgage lender.
“Where 25 per cent of a contributor’s RSA balance is not sufficient for payment as equity contribution, RSA holders may utilise the contingency portion of their voluntary contributions (if any),” it said.
The commission, however, said that to qualify as a mortgage lender for this purpose, the company must be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, comply with the Contributory Pension Scheme and have valid Pension Clearance Certificate.
PenCom said: “The commission shall publish names of the eligible mortgage lenders on its website.
“The commission, hereby, invites interested RSA holders to contact their PFAs for more information and guidance.”