News Column

NSSF Pension Returns Grow As Investments Yield More

July 25, 2014

Constant Munda

WORKERS savings through the National Social Security Fund returned Sh27.32 billion in the financial year ended June 2013 up from Sh1.74 billion a year before, audited financial statements published yesterday showed.

The windfall was boosted by a Sh25.58 billion growth in the market value of the investments that helped offset a Sh6.20 billion loss the previous year to stand at Sh18.35 billion gain at the end of financial year 2012/13.

The State-run pension fund accrued Sh6.44 billion in administrative costs, representing a jump of 21.74 per cent or Sh1.15 billion from Sh7.94 billion a year earlier.

During the review period, 38 per cent of the funds were invested in shares trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, 31 per cent in property while 24 per cent was sank in government securities.

The growth in actual earnings from investments over the same period was a modest 12.97 per cent to Sh8.97 billion from Sh7.94 billion previously.

Members will earn an interest of 12.5 per cent for the review period - the rate fixed by Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi under section 19(2) of the NSSF Act and to be credited to their accounts by end of this month - a climb from 7.5 per cent paid previously.

Total value of assets acquired through the statutory retirement savings by about 1.7 million members was Sh134.93 billion- a jump of 22.15 per cent or Sh24.47 billion over the Sh110.46 billion valuation a year earlier.

The figures that were approved by the Auditor General Edward Ouko on July 11 and published in the dailies yesterday however varies with those filed with the regulator the Retitement Benefits Authority by Sh1.3 billion.

While those submitted to auditor general's office put the asset portfolio at Sh134.93 billion, the figures published by the RBA on July 1 are quoted at Sh136.2 billion.

The RBA report indicate that the NSSF continued to manage at least 67.98 per cent of the assets internally despite contracting six professional fund managers to oversee its investment portfolio.

Fund managers it contracted to invest members' pension on its behalf included Pinebridge Investments, Genesis, ICEA-LION,Stanbic, Old Mutual and Co-op Trust.

The NSSF, the Pension industry report stated, was managing a portfolio of Sh92.9 billion of the total assets while the six fund managers were overseeing Sh43.3 billion.

The independent managers invested 55.4 and 32.6 per cent of the Sh43.3 billion in quoted equities and government securities, the RBA report said.

"Our investment returns have grown by between 17 and 20 per cent since the fund managers came on board unlike previously when investment was an internal function," NSSF Managing Trustee Richard Langat said on Wednesday in a press statement.

The transfer of the investment to professional managers was part of the ongoing far-reaching reforms that included overhaul of the NSSF Act to change it to pension fund for the formal sector and a provident scheme for self-employed members.

Four of the six contracted fund managers - Pine Bridge, Genesis Kenya, CFC Stanlib and Old Mutual - were as at December 2013 in charge of three quarters or Sh422 billion of the total investments under management in the Sh696.68 billion-pension industry.

NSSF said holding excluding property and land was valued at "over Sh87 billion or 67 per cent of the total (Sh131.46 billion) portfolio as at June 2013 up from Sh64 billion the previous year".

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Source: AllAfrica

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