The nation’s Pension Assets has gained N620 billion in the first five months of 2018, translating to about seven percentage growth in pension funds within this period, NAIPCO Trumpet can exclusively reveal.
As at 31st December, 2017, the pension funds stood at N7.52 trillion but has now grown to N8.14 trillion as at the end of May, 2018.
Between January and February, the pension assets gained N250 billion representing 2.8 per cent growth to close the second month of the year at N7.779 trillion.
However, between March and April, 2018, the funds further gained N230billion to end the month of April at N8 trillion.
The Pension assets further gained additional N140 billion in the month of May, 2018.
This consistent increase, findings show, was attributable to new pension contributions received, interest from fixed income securities and net realised on equities and mutual fund investments.
Investment income, according to findings, was instrumental to continuous growth in pension funds, despite the fact that government at the state and federal levels are not paying the monthly pension contributions of their workers as and when due.
The Pension Fund operators have, however, invested over N5.51 trillion, translating to 70 per cent of the Pension Assets, into Federal Government(fg) securities.
Of the money invested in FGN securities, N3.96 trillion, representing 50.98 per cent of the total pension Fund, was invested Federal Government bonds.
Speaking at the 2018 Annual General Meeting(AGM) of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents(NAIPCO) in Lagos recently, Managing Director/CEO, IEI-Anchor Pension Managers Ltd, Mr. Glory Etaduovie, said the pension assets would address critical funding challenges.
Stating that there is a yawning gap in the nation’s infrastructure needs such as stable light on which large and small industries grow, if the infrastructural challenges are addressed, he believes this will create jobs and address transportation gaps, housing and house ownership, health, education, among others.
While the pension assets would enhance stability of the stock market by reducing the volatility impact created by capital flight, he added that it would also create more capital and liquidity for firms and to explore growth potentials.
Earlier at a conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission(PenCom), Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar, said her commission is intensifying efforts at ensuring the provision of necessary infrastructure for the launching of the Micro Pension Scheme in line with its strategic objective of expanding coverage of the CPS to the underserved sector.
.Dahir-Umar, who was represented by Company’s Secretary/Legal Adviser, PenCom, Mr. Mohammad Sanni Mohammad, added that, the commission has initiated the Pension Enhancement Programme to enhance the monthly pension of retirees in the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Noting that it was discovered that the returns being generated by the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) on the balances of the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of majority of retirees could be used to enhance their monthly pensions, she said, PenCom sought for and obtained the approval of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to implement the pension enhancement.
This, she pointed out, resulted in increased monthly pensions for most retirees receiving pension under the Programmed Withdrawal arrangement, even as, the PFAs have commenced the enhancement of pensions of all retirees under Programmed Withdrawal with effect from December 2017.