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Pension funds hit N4.9tn

Figures from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) indicate that funds in the Contributory Pension Scheme stood at N4.9tn, as at the end of May 2015.

According to the figures, N568.9bn (11.58 per cent) and N72.97bn (1.49 per cent), of the funds have been invested in domestic ordinary shares and foreign ordinary shares, respectively, while N2.48tn and N601.65bn were invested in Federal Government of Nigeria’s bonds and Treasury Bills, making 50.64 per cent and 12.25 per cent of the funds in that order.

PenCom stated that N166.2bn (3.38 per cent) and N140.06bn (2.8 per cent) were invested in state government securities and corporate debt securities, respectively.

The Pension Fund Operators invested N12.69bn (0.26 per cent) and N580.09bn (11.8 per cent) in supra-national bonds and local money market securities, respectively.

According to the PenCom report, N5.005bn (0.10 per cent) and N21.5bn (0.44 per cent) of the funds were invested in foreign money market securities and open/closed-ends fund; while N209.12bn (4.26 per cent) and N12.07bn (0.25 per cent) were invested in real estate properties and private equity funds, respectively.

The operators also invested N568.7m (0.01 per cent) in infrastructure funds, while N34.2bn (0.7 per cent) of the funds was invested in cash and other assets.

Funds under the CPS had risen from N4.54tn and N4.71tn in January and February to N4.74tn and N4.86tn in March and April, respectively.

The total assets rose from N4.05tn at the end of 2013 to N4.6tn at the end of the 2014 financial period.

According to PenCom, pension funds will only be invested in the bonds of states that are compliant with the CPS.

At the end of the 2014 financial year, it noted that about 24 states had adopted the CPS, while 12 others were at various stages of implementing the scheme, with one state yet to commence the process.

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The Director-General, PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said the Pension Reform Act, 2014 re-enacted the fundamental provisions of the repealed PRA 2004, which included the establishment of the CPS, uniform standards for pension administration as well as approving the commission as the sole regulator and supervisor of pension matters in Nigeria.

She added that there were new developments introduced by the PRA 2014 such as the upward review of the minimum rate of pension contributions and the sanctions/penalties for infractions of the provisions of the Act.

Prior to the enactment of the PRA 2014, she said several states of the federation had adopted the CPS and were at various stages of implementing it.

Recent developments with regard to inadequate finances of most states of the federation are a pointer to the urgent need for the states to adopt the CPS, she said.

Anohu-Amazu added, “In our quest to assist the states in guided implementation, PenCom has established functional offices in the six geo-political zones, including Awka for the South-East.

“These offices have been equipped to provide the required technical assistance to states and local governments in their efforts to adopt and implement the CPS.”

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