• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Race for top Pension Fund Administrator heightens as Access battles Stanbic IBTC for largest customer base

Pension savings become immediate lifeline with rising unemployment in Nigeria

The race for who becomes the largest Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) in Nigeria on membership registration and assets under management (AUM) has intensified, Access Pensions battling to overtake Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers.

Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers with over N4 trillion in AUM and over 2 million registered contributors is the number one PFA in Nigeria since the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in 2004. However, following Access Pensions’ strategic acquisitions in the industry since 2022, the margin for the top position is thinning with speed.

Read also: Access Pensions targets informal sector in push for top PFA spot

According to the fourth quarter 2023 report on performance of PFAs released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), StanbicIBTC Pension Managers has maintained the lead followed by Access Pension Limited

In membership registration, called Retirement Saving Account (RSA), StanbicIBTC pulled 24 percent of total market share, equal to 21,212 of 88, 213 , while Access Pensions Limited followed with 19.9 percent, equal to 17,573.

In terms of total registration from the inception of the scheme to the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, StanbicIBTC led with 2,075,095, while Access followed with 1,105,500.

However, with Access Pension having acquired ARM Pensions Limited in the first quarter of 2024, their combined registration (RSA) will hit 2,024,048, leaving a mall margin of 51, 047 to equal StanbicIBTC Pension Managers.

In terms of Assets Under Management (AUM), StanbicIBTC Pension Managers as at the end of 2024 had N4.38 trillion, while Access Pension had N836.24 billion, Access has risen to over N1 trillion, six months after the acquisition of Sigma Pensions and First Guarantee Pensions.

The combination therefore of Access Pension Managers with its newly acquired ARM Pensions will shake the table when fully consolidated as ARM is currently swelling with N1.134 trillion at s the end of 2023 financial year.

Read also: NGX, PenCom to deepen PFAs equity participation with Pension Broad Index

Further breakdown of the PenCom report in the fourth quarter of 2023 shows that ARM Pension Managers Ltd, Leadway Pensure PFA Ltd, and Premium Pension Ltd followed the two top leaders with 9.4 percent, 8.1 percent, and 6 percent of the new registrations respectively.

“Consequently, the top five (5) PFAs collectively held about 67.39 percent while the bottom five PFAs recorded an aggregate of 5.38 percent of the 88,213 new RSAs registered in Q4:2023”.

Access Pensions Limited, a subsidiary of Access Holdings had in January 2024 announced the acquisition of a majority stake in ARM Pensions Managers Limited.

A statement from Access Holdings said the acquisition would lead to the merging of the operations of ARM Pensions and Access Pensions to create Nigeria’s second-largest PFA by assets under management.

On the transaction, the holding company said, “We are pleased to have reached this transformative milestone in our pension fund administration journey.

It noted that the proposed combination of ARM Pension with Access Pensions will create sustainable stakeholder value and also contribute positively to the growth and development of the pension industry. We anticipate an exciting future for the combined entity, the HoldCo said.

The Group CEO of ARM Holding Company Limited, Jumoke Ogundare, had also said that the market was ripe for consolidation and expressed confidence that the proposed combination “will create a formidable pension funds administration business leveraging Access Group’s expansive distribution network and innovation culture to deliver sustainable value to stakeholders”.

At the end of February 2024, the net asset value of Nigeria’s pension industry is N19.76 trillion, as against N19.53 trillion in January 2024, while the number of registered contributors stood at 10, 258,611.