Pension Assets Hit N8.23tn Increase
Total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N8.23tn at the end of the second quarter of 2018, figures obtained from the National Pension Commission on Thursday showed.
The figures specifically indicated that the number of contributors grew by 312,291 from 7.89 million in December 2017 to 8.14 million as of June 2018.
It stated, “The net assets value of the pension assets of the contributory pension fund was N8.23tn as of June, 2018. This represents an increase of N716.94bn up from the value of N7.52tn as of 31st December, 2017. This increase is attributed to new contributions received, interest/coupon from fixed income securities and net realised/unrealised gains on equities and mutual fund investments.”
The commission said the operators had invested a substantial part of the pension funds in the Federal Government’s bonds, treasury bills and state government securities.
The PenCom report stated that some of the money 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 funds are Real Estate Investment Trusts, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.
PenCom also stated that in order to improve the monthly pension payment to retirees under the CPS, the commission initiated the pension enhancement programme.
The commission said the returns being generated by the PFAs on the balances of the RSAs of majority of retirees could be used to enhance their monthly pensions.
Consequently, the commission sought for and obtained the approval of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to implement the pension enhancement, which resulted in increased monthly pensions for most retirees receiving pension under the Programmed Withdrawal arrangement.
Accordingly, the PFAs commenced the enhancement of pensions of all retirees under the Programmed Withdrawal with effect from December 2017.
It noted that the implementation of the pension enhancement was one of the significant milestones attained since the commencement of the CPS.
According to PenCom, the CPS has workable internal mechanisms to respond to legitimate demands of retirees as they seek a reasonable retirement income.
The commission said it intended to sustain this periodic review exercise in line with relevant provisions of the law.