Nigeria’s pension fund assets rose significantly by N843billion in the first half of the current year, increasing from N13.42 trillion in December 2021 to N14.27 trillion as at the end of June, 2022, the first half of the year, LEADERSHIP learnt.
This is even as 266,830 fresh workers from public and private sectors joined the Contributory Pension Scheme(CPS), in the first half of the current year.
In a latest data sourced from the National Pension Commission (PenCom), total pension funds increased by 6.28 per cent from N13.42 trillion as of December 2021 to N14.27 trillion as of June 2022.
Similarly, Investments in corporate debt securities rose significantly by 26.11 per cent to N1.19 trillion in the period under review (year-to-date) while PFAs increased their investments in real estate by 50.66 per cent to N236.2 billion as of June 2022 from N156.8 billion recorded as of the beginning of the year.
The report said that investments in private equity funds dipped slightly by 0.24 per cent to stand at N38.87 billion from N38.96 billion. Also PFA allocations to FGN securities stood at N9.01 trillion, a 2.67 per cent increase from N8.77 trillion in December 2021and investments in FGN securities accounted for about 63 per cent of the total pension fund.
The RSA fund II accounted for most of the fund contribution with N6.24 trillion, representing 43.7 per cent of the total pension funds, followed by RSA Fund III with N3.86 trillion, which represents 27 per cent of the total assets and existing schemes accounted for 10.1 per cent of the total funds, increased by N85.78 billion to stand at N1.44 trillion, while the CPFAs accounted for 10.7 per cent of the total funds, standing at N1.52 trillion as of the review period.
Pension Fund Administrators increased their exposure in the Nigerian stock market in the first half of the year, with an additional N53.85 billion investment in the local bourse, bringing the total investments to N969.16 billion.
Investment income, according to LEADERSHIP investigation, was instrumental to this increase in pension fund assets, despite the fact that governments at majorly, State level are not paying the monthly pension contributions of their workers as and when due.
Similarly, the huge increase, according to findings, was attributed to new pension contributions received, interest from fixed income securities and net realised on equities and mutual fund investments.
Meanwhile, the Retirement Savings Account(RSA) registrations increased by 2.8 per cent to stand at 9.79 million from 9.53 million recorded as of December 2021, which represents an increase of 266,830 new workers coming into the scheme in the first six months of the year.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP recently, the managing director/CEO, ARM Pensions, Mr. Wale Odutola, said the pension fund operators have most of their investments in federal government bonds because it is the safest investment instrument that consistently gives good returns on investment.
Although, he said, each PFA has its investment model that best work for them, he added that, even with the drop in bond yields, it’s still the safest
According to him, “So, each PFA has different investment strategies and they always invest in investment outlets according to what suits their investment strategies. So, capital market is an investment outlet that we are looking at, so also is fixed income, government securities, money market instruments and so on.”
He said, though, the safety of the pension fund assets is germane to operators, they are also concerned about investment returns to pension contributors, adding that, the growth of the pension assets in recent years was attributable to investment returns rather than contributions.
This, he said, shows that operators are investing wisely, by adhering to the pension industry investment guidelines as stipulated in the Pension Reforms Act(PRA) 2014, stating that, PFAs will continue to play active role in the capital market transactions in the current year.