The total pension fund assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has risen to N7.4tn as at the end of November 2017.

According to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) N5.22tn or 82.5 per cent of the fund was invested in Federal Government’s bonds and treasury bills.

Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), the commission said invested about two per cent, totalling N148.2bn of the fund, in state governments’ securities.

The commission revealed that the remainder of the fund was invested in agency bonds, supra-national bonds, commercial papers, foreign money market securities, and open/close-end funds.

Other investment portfolios where the operators invested the fund are real estate investment trusts, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.

Statistics from PenCom showed that the fund rose from N4.6tn at the end of the 2014 financial period to N5.3tn in 2015. For the 2016 financial period, the assets rose to N6.16tn.

Last year, the commission reviewed the regulations for the investment of pension funds, stating that the PFAs must offer a multi-fund structure for the Retirement Savings Accounts of contributors and that there would be a transition period of six months, effective from the commencement date of the multi-fund structure, for all the PFAs to restructure their respective portfolios.

“The multi-fund structure shall comprise Fund I, Fund II, Fund III, and Fund IV (retiree fund). Funds I, II, III, and IV shall, however, differ according to their overall exposure to variable income instruments,” it stated.

PenCom also said it would raise the pensions of retirees who opt for programmed withdrawal and were being paid by the PFAs this month.

The Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, stated this when PenCom submitted a memorandum to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service at the public hearing on a bill for an Act to amend the Pension Reform Act, 2014, to provide for definite percentage a retiree could withdraw from his RSA and for other matters related thereto.

She, however, stated that some retirees would not be entitled to the increase due to the low amounts in their RSAs.

Dahir-Umar said, “Indeed, the commission has just concluded an exercise to increase the monthly pension of all retirees on programmed withdrawal due to the income earned on investing their pension assets.

“The outcome of this exercise showed that 30 per cent of the retirees would not benefit from the increase due to insignificant income earned on the small balances in their respective RSAs.”