The nation’s pension fund assets may rise to N14.8trillion by December 31st, 2022 when the current financial year officially closed, LEADERSHIP learnt.
Investment income, according to LEADERSHIP investigation, would be instrumental to the expected increase, 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 consistent 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.
As at the end of October, 2022, the assets stood at N14.58trillion and it’s expected to add additional N270 billion in the last two months of the year.
Confirming this development at the 2022 Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria(PenOp) Media parley in Lekki, Lagos, yesterday, the managing director/CEO, First Pension Custodian, Mr. Oloruntimilehin George said, operators are optimistic the fund will hit N14.8trillion by year end.
According to him, “ the nation’s pension fund assets is expected to hit N14.8trillion, despite the challenging business environment, not forgotten that the industry also undergone recapitalisation of which all PFAs scaled through. The Shareholders Fund of the industry is N211billion post recapitalisation.”
Similarly, it would be recalled that the National Pension Commission(PenCom) commenced the implementation of guidelines on accessing Retirement Savings account (RSA) balance for payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage by pension contributors.
PenCom stated that, the approval was in line with Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, which allows RSA holders to use a portion of their RSA balance towards payment of equity for residential mortgage.
In the guidelines highlighted, it said, the plan covers pension contributors in active employment, either as a salaried employee or as a self-employed person. At the event, the managing director/CEO, Premium Pension Limited (PPL), Mr. Umar Sand Mairami, while reacting on this development, , noted that, the Pension Fund Administrators(PFAs) are partnering some mortgage banks to ensure that contributors benefit from this scheme.
Stating that only 25 per cent of the RSA balance is allowed to be used as equity for the residential mortgage, he noted that, the partnership with mortgage firms will ensure that RSA holders get better rates for this housing scheme.He expected that, with time, mortgage bankers will compete for better rate, which will lower the rates to be paid on this facility, in the long run.
Earlier, the head, Investment Supervision, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mr. Ibrahim Kangiwa, while delivering a paper on Mortgage Finance through RSA balance, noted that, the motive of this plan, is to provide housing for first time home owners and improve the standard of living of contributors so that, when they retire, they have a roof on their head.
For successful implementation, he said, stakeholders must work together, adding that, Nigeria is one of the country with the highest housing deficit in the world, a development, he said, the mortgage scheme came to address.
On his part, the executive secretary, Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Mr. Oguche Aguda, noted that, the mortgage scheme is still at its infancy and though, may have few teething challenges, but would be perfected as time goes on, promising that, toperators and the regulator will continue to tweak with the plan to ensure pension contributors get value for their contributions.