Nigeria’s pension assets under management by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) rose to N14.59 trillion as at the end of October 2022.
According to figures released Tuesday by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the total pension assets increased by N164.44 billion from N14.424 trillion in September.
The commission said 9,850,094 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders have enrolled into the Contributory Pension Scheme as of October, while 84,000 have enrolled into the Micro pension plan (MPP) as of the end of September.
In terms of assets distribution on investment, Federal Government securities continue to maintain leadership position with 63.23 percent of the total assets amounting to N9.225 trillion, dominated by FGN bonds worth N8.840 trillion.
Money market instruments followed with 14.91 percent of the total assets under management, equal to N2.175 trillion, with fixed deposit/bank acceptance dominating with N2.036 trillion.
State government securities was third with 10.46 percent equal to N1.527 trillion, while domestic ordinary shares was N828.167 billion, equal to 5.68 percent of the total assets.
Aisha Dahir-Umar, director general of PenCom, speaking during a sensitisation conference organised for civil society groups last week in Abuja, said the MPP was conceptualised to expand pension coverage to the informal sector, including small-scale businesses, entertainers, professionals, petty traders, artisans, and entrepreneurs.
She said the MPP aims to curb old-age poverty by assisting the participants to contribute while working and build long-term savings to fall back on when they are no longer in active working life.
“Given the peculiarities of the target participants, the commission is facilitating efforts by the Pension Fund Administrators to provide incentives for the MPP.”
According to her, one key incentive that is being worked upon is the provision of health insurance to the micro pension contributors. This recognises the need for the MPP to provide more access to health care services, which is often lacking in critical times of need.
She said the strategic efforts to drive micro pension remains one of the important areas of focus of the commission.
According to her, the commission’s leadership is focused on transforming the pension sector.
Dahir-Umar said: “Some of the recent significant accomplishments by the commission include the issuance of the Guidelines on Accessing 25 percent of RSA Balance towards payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by RSA holders.
“This innovative development provides equity finance for RSA holders, facilitates their ownership of residential homes during their working life, and ultimately improves their living standards.”
Umar said the guideline effectively implements the provisions of Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 that aligns with one of the commission’s core value of responsiveness, based on the need to improve the standard of living of active employees and retirees under the CPS.
“Further to its regulatory and supervisory functions, the commission has continued to issue new Guidelines, Frameworks, and Regulations while strengthening existing ones, to make for the smooth implementation of the CPS and the welfare of active employees and pensioners under the Scheme. The commission issued the Revised Regulation on the Administration of Retirement and Terminal Benefits to ensure that pensioners receive their benefits promptly,” she said.