The pension fund administrators(PFAs) in the country have invested a sum of N5.78 trillion in federal government securities, even as the pension assets have risen to N8.33 trillion at the end of August, 2018.
In a monthly report recently released by the National Pension Commission(PenCom), 69.30 per cent of the N8.33 trillion pension assets were invested in federal government’s securities. Out of the N5.78 trillion invested in federal government securities, FGN bonds got N4.22 trillion; treasury bills, N1.49 trillion; agency bond ( NMRC & FMBN) N10.91 billion; Sukuk bonds, N53.15 billion and green bonds, N6.96 billion. While state government securities gulped N154.43 billion, corporate bonds was N400.45 billion with corporate infrastructure bonds amounting to N7.33 billion, even as banks gulped N849.09 billion. Other classes of assets include; commercial papers, N116.76 billion and real estate properties, N226.64 billion; supranational bonds, N6.67 billion; open/close end funds, N12.18 billion; mutual funds, N21.29 billion; private equity fund N38.57 billion; infrastructure fund, N16.07 billion; cash & other assets N24.56 billion and Reits, N9.10 billion.
The monthly report, which detailed the summary of pension fund assets as at August 31, 2018 showed that Retirement Saving Account (RSA) retiree fund which has been reclassified in the multi-fund structure stood at, Fund I, N4.55 billion; Fund II, N3.69 trillion; Fund III, N1.96 trillion; Fund IV, N619.59 billion. It noted that Closed Pension Fund Administrators Fund (CPFAs) was N1.08 trillion and Existing Schemes (ES), N957.50 billion. Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP had earlier reported that 275, 172 workers who were sacked by their respective companies have resorted to pension fund for succour, as they were able to withdraw N86.7 billion from their pension contributions. Finding showed that the disengaged workers made the withdrawal between 2004, when the Contributory Pension Scheme(CPS) came into effect and June, 2018.
The amount withdrawn, it was learnt,is about one per cent of the N8.2 trillion pension assets. The incessant loss of jobs by workers in the public and private sectors has been on the rise during and after recession, as companies were trying to cut down their operating expenses.
As a result, a document sourced from the National Pension Commission(PenCom) showed a huge number of 12,854 workers were disengaged in the second quarter of the year, that is, between April and June, 2018, while these disengaged workers withdrew N5.6 billion from the pension assets within this timeframe. Out of the entire disengaged workers who accessed their pension contributions, LEADERSHIP learnt that about 93 per cent of them were from the private sector, an indication of lack of job security in the private sector of the nation’s economy. The public sector seems to be better in terms of job security as only about seven per cent of pension contributors were affected by the job loss. The PRA 2014 allows contributors, under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and were unable to secure another job within 4 months of disengagement, to access 25 per cent of their respective Retirement Savings Accounts(RSAs).