Pension operators target 20 million contributors by 2024

insurance-pixFROM the current level of 6.581 million coverage of both the public and private sector workers in Nigeria, pension operators in the country under the aegis of Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) have pledged to raise the coverage of workers covered to at least 20 million by 2024.

Consequent upon this, PenOp, in collaboration with the National Pension Commission (PenCom), has flagged off initiative to encourage the informal sector participation in the contributory Pension scheme (CPS).

Already, a framework for the informal sector participation in the CPS to all stakeholders for comments has been developed and inputs being collated and subsequently incorporated into the Framework and is awaiting commission’s approval soonest.

The Chairman of the association, Misbahu Yola, who is also Managing Director of Legacy Pension Managers Limited disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja at the end of the association’s meeting to review activities in the sector in the last three quarters of the current year.

The association is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making body established to promote the operations of the pension industry, provide for self-regulation and ensure that international best practices relating to the industry are observed by the operators registered in Nigeria.

Its role internally, is to add value to its members across all levels; information, education, visibility, networking, among others, externally its role is to increase the awareness and visibility of the pension industry and enable external stakeholders understand and participate in the development of the sub-sector wherever and whenever possible.

Yola also disclosed that PenOp in collaboration with PenCom has begun the biometric registration of contributors under the CPC ahead of the transfer window which would allow contributors the choice of a PFA to manage their pension assets said the registration is to assist in securing contributions and reduce the stress of verification.

Already, he said 65 per cent of the N4.746 trillion pension portfolio investment was invested in the Federal Government Bonds allayed fears that the suspension threat by JP. Morgan would have no impact on the investment as the platform remains the safest investment haven.

Yola explained that the attraction of FGN Bonds to pension fund operators was the safety and security of the debt instrument as it had the backing of the Federal Government, which would do anything possible to remain credit worthy.

He said: “More than 65 per cent; close to 70 per cent of the industry’s funds are in FGN Bonds and treasury bills. You have another 12 per cent in equities and another 15 per cent in the money market. The bulk of it is in government securities.

“We are investing in the bonds because of the safety of the funds. Where else can we put the money? We buy bonds, we buy treasury bills. They are still safer than putting money in the bank.”

“Removing Nigeria from the index means that foreign investors may not be looking at the index to put their money into the Nigerian debt market.
They can still invest by making their own investigation.

“However, foreign participation in the Nigerian bond market had significantly dwindled even before this

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