•Driven by contributions, FG assets
By Rosemary Iwunze
The total value of Nigeria’s pension fund assets as at 31 December 2021 grew by 3.26 per cent Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ, to N13.42 trillion from N13.01 trillion recorded in September, 2021.
According to the fourth quarter 2021 report of the National Pension Commission, PenCom, the growth was mainly due to pension contributions received and market valuation of Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, bonds and equities.
Details of the report show that the bulk of the pension fund assets was invested in FGN securities accounting for over 65 per cent of the pension assets.
Further analysis show that investment in FGN securities increased by 6.7 per cent to N8.77 trillion in December 2021 from N8.22 trillion recorded in September.
Further breakdown of the investments in FGN securities shows that investment in FGN Bonds increased by 2.3 per cent to N8.3 trillion in December from N7.8 trillion in September.
Investment in Nigerian Treasury Bills declined by 9.9 per cent to N255.7 billion from N283.9 billion, agency bonds increased by 3.9 per cent to N14.3 billion from N13.8 billion, Sukuk Bonds increased by 48.3 per cent to N118.3 billion from N79.8 billion, while Green Bonds increased by 394.6 per cent to N59.3 billion from N11.9 billion.
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PenCom, in the report, stated: “The growth in Q4 2021 was higher than the growth of N343.99 billion or 2.72 per cent recorded in Q3:2021, mainly due to contributions received and market valuation of FGN bonds and equities.
“The increase in the value of investments in FGN Securities was majorly due to additional investments in this asset class during the quarter.”
According to PenCom, the cumulative Retirement Savings Account, RSA, registrations grew by 0.72 per cent at the end of Q4’21 to 9,529,127 from 9,461,173 recorded in Q3’21.
This was mainly attributed to an increased level of compliance by the private sectors.
The report stated further: “The Commission approved 5,930 retirees’ requests to draw pension through the Programmed Withdrawal mode during the quarter under review.
“These retirees received a total lump sum of N21,914.44 million while their total monthly pension amounted to N291.28 million.
“The Commission granted approval to 2,647 retirees under the Retiree Life Annuity during the quarter under review.
“A total lump sum of N7,176.57 million was approved for payment to the retirees, while the sum of N16,898.18 million was approved for payment to 14 Retiree Life Annuity Providers as premium in return for total monthly/quarterly annuities of N173.76 million.
“During the quarter under review, approvals were granted for payment of death benefits amounting to N15,049.49 million to the legal beneficiaries/administrator of 2,800 deceased employees and retirees. This comprised 2,093 public (FGN & State) and 707 private sector employees/retirees.”
As regards death benefits, the report noted: “During the quarter under review, approvals were granted for payment of death benefits amounting to N15,049.49 million to the legal beneficiaries/administrator of 2,800 deceased employees and retirees. This comprised 2,093 Public (FGN & state) and 707 private sector employees/retirees.”
For enbloc payment, the report stated: “During the quarter under review, the Commission approved enbloc payment of retirement benefits to 2,327 retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000.00 or below and considered insufficient to procure Programmed Withdrawal or Retiree Life Annuity of a reasonable amount for an expected life span.
“In this regard, a total sum of N586.62 million was paid to the 2,327 retirees from both the public and private sectors.”
For disengaged workers, it stated: “The Commission approved the payment of N6,414.57 million to 10,804 RSA holders under the age of 50 years, who were disengaged from work and unable to secure jobs within four months.”