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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Pension is generally a way of catering for the need of the retiree. It is a form of income provided to workers after they retire, become disabled or die. Pension is paid to those who are considered to be retired due to their deterioration in their physical, mental, emotional and economic contribution to the society. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines pension as an amount of money paid regularly by a government or company to someone who is officially considered to be too old or too ill to earn money. This fund is to provide the employees with a means of securing upon retirement a standard of living that is consistent with that which they were enjoying while still in service. Pensions helps a former employee to acclimate themselves back into the society upon retirement (Armstrong, 2010). A retirement plan may be established by employers, the government, insurance companies or other institutions.
Pension and related issues (such as retirement planning) have received momentous consideration in many countries in the past decades. Different countries have opted for different forms of contributory pension schemes (Robolino, 2006), in which employers and employees are demanded to pay certain percentages of their monthly earnings into a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) from which they will be receiving their pension benefits from after retirement. The money paid into a retirement savings account is known as pension fund. A pension fund also known as superannuation in some countries is any plan or scheme which provides retirement benefits or income. The management of these funds however requires a lot of care and attention.
The National Pension Commission (PenCom), which is the governing body in Nigeria comprises of the pension fund administrators and pension custodians. It is the entity that deals with regulating, supervising and ensuring effective administration of pension matters in Nigeria. The most important part of this system is the Pension Fund Administrators has they manage the pension funds, maintain books of account on all transactions relating to the pension funds, provide regular information to the employers and pay retirement benefits to pensioners. The influence of the PFA is rather strong on the rest of the system.
A management system by the International Standard Organization is a set of interrelated or interacting elements that organizations use to formulate policies and objectives and to establish the processes that are needed to ensure that policies are followed and objectives are achieved. A system is defined as a combination of things or parts forming a unitary whole.
A management information system is explained as an automated tool used by organisations to manage, evaluate and organise departments. It’s simply involves the planning and administration of the organisations data to form information useful to support the operations of the organisations. A management information by definition is a planned system of collecting, sorting and distribution of data needed to perform the functions of management (MIS - Introduction, n.d.).
A pension fund management information system is an automated tool that is used by organisations to manger, organize and evaluate pension funds and information as regards this area. It focuses on providing an organisation with a tool that will aid their day-to-day activity by providing them with a computer-based tool that will be fully implemented to perform their specific tasks and functions.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT.
Over the years the management of pension fund has been characterized by multiple and adverse problems which arises from the manual method of managing funds and keeping track of a pensioners benefits. This manual method of pension fund management involves keeping records in a filing cabinet about each employee or pensioner that is been registered with a pension fund administrator. Owing to the fact that humans are imperfect and are susceptible to errors, there is a great tendency that the administrator can make mistakes in filing a pensioner’s detail, the administrator is prone to make mistakes in crediting a pensioner’s account, he can either under-credit or over-credit an account thus leading to inconsistencies. The manual method of operation does not encourage transparency in the operation of the administrator’s, because the pensioner is fully unaware of operations carried out on his or her account. The ineffective nature of this method leads to financial impropriety, theft and fraudulent practices, human errors, lack of clear and adequate information between the pension fund administrator and the beneficiary. In places where the manual method has been replaced with some level of automation, there still exists the lack of inadequate information on the side of the employee or pensioner to make decisions as regards the Pension Fund Administrator to work with, as a result Pension Fund Administrators are forced on employees by their employers and thus when the employees are not satisfied with the services of this organisations little can be done to resolve this issue.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of the project is to design and implement an integrated platform for all pension fund administrators in Nigeria, automate the registration process involved for pensioners and a provide a means by which accounts and funds can be effectively managed .
The objectives of this study are;
- To implement an integrated web based application that enables pensioners to select their preferred PFA and have easy access and up-to-date information on their account.
- To automate the process of registration with PFAs using an electronic-form.
- To provide a system that will enable creating, updating, deletion and retrieval, retention and storage of data.
- Automate the pension fund management process through the use of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Calculator.
1.4 METHODOLOGY OVERVIEW.
The model that will be used in this project is the Waterfall model:
It is mandatory for some processes to be carried out before designing the system. The problem should first be identified (problem identification). Then a background study should be carried out to understand the existing system and this comes up in the Literature review. Findings and inferences to review existing systems and better understand the concept and functionality of the system.
In designing the system, we will achieve our objectives with use of the following tools:
i. The use of hypertext mark-up language and cascading style sheet languages to design a user friendly interface. The cascading style sheet is for styling the look and feel of the webpages and the hypertext mark language helps in creating and linking web pages, the Hypertext Preprocessor is the backing code of the project, which will link the web application with the database.
ii. The database will be created with the use of my structured Query Language (MySQL) to develop an organised collection of data. This database will be able to perform four major tasks, creating, retrieval, updating and deletion of records.
iii. The use of mathematical functions to generate and calculate pension fund investments.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to provide an improved method for an organization such as Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to efficiently manage pensioner’s records.
i. It would minimise the time required for pension fund management since it requires performing a large range of activities.
ii. It will aid easy manipulation of records such as updating pensioner’s account, creating new accounts, preparing forms.
iii. Giving easy access to pensioner’s account balance and aiding faster claiming and payment of retirement benefits.
1.6 SCOPE OF PROJECT
This system focuses on the design and implementation of a PFMIS which will be a web based application that automates the pensioners’ registration process, provides an integrated platform for pensioners to select their preferred PFA and create awareness for the pensioners on the generation of their pension funds.
This project focuses on developing and implementing a web-based pension fund management information system that automates the pensioners’ registration process, an integrated platform for selecting preferred PFA will enable storage, manipulation, retrieval, retention and viewing of records, documents of employee/pensioner’s information. This system will be beneficial to an organization such as a pension fund administrator in Nigeria. This system is open to all employees, employers, retirees from different sectors of life such as the public sector and private sectors and will aid the easy retrieval, manipulation and computation of data, also putting in view the security of the pensioner and employee. This system is limited to Nigeria.
1.7 EXPECTED CONTRIBUTIONS
The pension fund management system is designed to provide a solution to the problems encountered in the existing systems of operations in a pension fund administration. A platform will be created where customers can use this system from anywhere across all borders and hardware requirements. The system will also provide an integrated platform where the employee can read about the existing pension fund administrators, their success rate and thus from there decipher the most suitable pension fund administrator they would like to work with and allow to manage their funds.
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