Premium Pensions hinges economic recovery on pension funds investment in infrastructure
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Premium Pension Limited, Mr. Wilson Ideva, has advocated for urgent investment of pension funds in infrastructure.
Ideva who made the call noted that if pension funds is invested in infrastructure, it would go a long way to tackles infrastructure
challenges in the country, which has negative effect on the economy.
“As a country, we need to invest pension assets in infrastructure because when we do that, it has a multiplier effect on the economy, and a lot of challenges that we are having in the economy have to do with infrastructure. People think that the money is lying idle but it is not true. The funds have been invested in different asset classes”, he said.
He noted that there was need to ensure that investment was made in projects that is capable of yielding returns on the retirees.
“The return on investment is the beauty of the scheme because any balance you have should attract returns for you because it is being invested. That is why, for instance, there are some retirees our company has paid in the last four years whose account balance today is higher than when they joined the pension scheme.
We all operate under the same guidelines; we operate in the same environment, but the difference has to do with the quality of our workers in the investment department. We have skills in the investment department that can match anyone in the world. That is the reason why our return on investment is high in Premium Pension”, he stated.
Speaking on the efficacy of activities of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in handling pension funds, he opined that the PFAs would not gamble with the funds of any RSA holder. “Investment of pension asset is an asset that must be there when the person retires. For everything we do, there is always a regulation. I want to assure all our RSA holders we will not gamble with their funds. We must be sure of the safety of the funds. There is no need to have anxiety”, he said
Ideva stated that the primary function of the CPS is to pay retirees as and when due. For instance, at Premium Pension, we have paid about N112bn to retirees since inception. The CPS has the challenge of redemption of accrued retirees’ rights. For those who retired in October, accrued rights are due to be redeemed by the government, and because they have not been redeemed, they are all waiting for their pensions. When you remove that, I will say that the pension scheme has been largely successful.
He noted that before the Pension Reform Act in 2004, pensioners used to be in long queues to get paid but it is no longer happening. What is happening now is that if you retire under the CPS and your account has been fully funded, under two months, I don’t see why you should not be getting your pensions as and when due. The recent challenge of non-redemption of the accrued rights has to do with what is happening in the national economy and I can assure you that the government is addressing that.