Pension Contributors Hit 10 Million Milestone Two Decades After Sector Reform

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Nigeria’s pension industry has achieved a milestone of over 10 million registered contributors as of June 2023, 19 years after the reform of the sector.

Pension fund assets also hit a record N16.76 trillion in the same month, growing by 4.1 per cent from N16.10 trillion in May 2023.

Michael Oyebola, an analyst at Money Counselors, while reviewing the performance of the pension industry at the end of June, described it as a significant achievement.
“In a significant achievement for the Nigerian economy and its citizens’ financial security, the country’s Pension Fund Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) have crossed the 10 million mark and assets under management are now N16.76 trillion.”
He said this milestone is based on the latest available data as of June 30, 2023 from the National Pension Commission (PenCom), the industry regulator.
According to him, it has taken three and half years to cross the mark and it marks a momentous step forward in the country’s efforts to enhance retirement planning and social welfare for its workforce.

He, however, noted that the number is lower than the target of 20 million contributors which PenCom set in its 2020 vision.

The data showed a consistent upward trend in the number of Retirement Savings Accounts over the past decade.

From 4.54 million contributors, called RSA holders in 2010, the figure rose to N6.95 million in 2015; N9.22 million in 2020 and 10.01 million at the end of the first half of 2023.

Aisha Dahir-Umar, director-general of PenCom, stated in the commission’s 2022 fourth-quarter report that the significant achievement in the Nigerian pension industry would not have been possible without the right people, strategy, culture and governance structure to support delivering consistent and sustainable value to all stakeholders.

While pledging the commission’s commitment to meeting the needs of its stakeholders, she said PenCom will continue to provide best practices in pension regulation and supervision in Nigeria.

According to her, the commission has stepped up its efforts to ensure sustainable investment by pension funds in alternative asset classes, during the quarter under review.

Dahir-Umar said that PenCom also structured infrastructure projects that met the strict requirements of the Pension Fund Investments Regulation.

According to her, the commission is making efforts to ensure that the average annual pension fund returns for RSA and legacy funds exceed headline inflation.

“We continued our efforts to ensure further diversification of investments in pension fund portfolio assets,” she said. “While rising inflation continues to challenge the Nigerian economy, it should be noted that efforts are being made to ensure average annual pension fund returns for RSA and legacy funds exceed headline inflation.”