Pension Fund Assets Rise By N450bn In 2months, Hit N15.44trn

 Pension Fund Assets Rise By N450bn In 2months, Hit N15.44trn

Nigeria’s pension fund assets rose by N450 billion within two months, precisely in January and February, 2023, growing from N14.99 trillion in December 2022 to N15.44trillion at the end of February 2023.

Available data sourced from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY showed that the fund rose by N266 billion in January 2023, edging the assets to N15.26trillion at the end of January.

In February 2023, the fund soared by another  N183billion to push the pension Fund Assets to N15.44 trillion at the end of February 2023, making a cumulative N449billion growth recorded on the assets within the first two months of the current year.

In its unaudited report on the pension funds industry for the month of February 2023, PenCom stated that the number of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders stood at 9.92 million.

In dollar equivalent, PenCom disclosed in the report that the fund assets amounted to $33.47 billion, valued at an exchange rate of N415 to a dollar.

N9.98 trillion out of the N15.45 trillion, it stressed, was invested in federal government securities, while N160.31 billion was invested in state governments’ securities, even as corporate debt securities gulped N1.67 trillion and money market instruments got N1.69 trillion.

Investment income, according to LEADERSHIP Sunday’s investigations, was instrumental to the continuous growth in pension funds despite the fact that some 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.

The director general of National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, had said the growth in the pension fund assets under the new pension scheme is an indication of prudent and sincere management of the pension fund by the pension operators and the regulator.

“The maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the Commission’s overriding investment philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets,” she said.

At a seminar in Lagos in December 2022, the executive secretary/CEO, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Oguche Aguda, while applauding the contributions of pension fund operators toward growing the assets, assured pension contributors that their funds are in safe hands.

He noted that there had been no reported mismanagement of pension funds under the new scheme known as Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), a development he said was due to prudent management of the assets by operators and strict enforcement of pension regulations by PenCom.

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