NewsEast & Horn AfricaPension profiles: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa


Posted on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 20:56

Pension profiles: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa

Tanzania’s National Social Security Fund is financing around 60% of the cost of the Kigamboni Bridge/Photo©All Rights ReservedThe six pension profiles compiled by The Africa Report take a peek into a sector that is in the process of formulating regulatory and management structures.





GHANA'S PENSION landscape has been dominated by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), a statutory public trust launched in 1965 that administers the national pension scheme. In 2008, the National Pensions Act introduced two additional tiers – Tier 2 is a 5% mandatory defined contribution scheme and Tier 3 is a voluntary scheme set up by employers. Since the law was enacted in January 2010, Tier 2 contributions have been deposited in a temporary account at the Bank of Ghana until a new pension regulator is ready to begin distributing it to newly licensed corporate trustees. SSNIT remains the largest institutional investor on the Ghana Stock Exchange. By 2012, it invested in four private equity funds and nine investments classed as 'economically targeted'●



THE BOTSWANA PUBLIC Officers Pension Fund was registered in 2001 when the government decided to move from a defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution fund. There are five main subcommittees under the Board of Trustees covering investment, benefits, auditing, marketing and communications, as well as human resources. By April this year, the fund had assets of 44.1bn pulas ($5.6bn), up on the previous year despite the market downturn. The fund had 95,187 active members in 2010●


South Africa

AFRICA'S LARGEST pension fund, the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), has more than 1.2 million active members, some 318,000 pensioners and beneficiaries, and assets worth R700bn ($85.5bn). It is a defined benefit fund set up in 1996 by consolidating 10 funds for public servants with an asset base of R127bn. The government-owned Public Investment Corporation (PIC) manages the investments along with some 35 other public-sector pension, provident, social security, development and guardian funds. The GEPF aims to be a leader in socially responsible investment in Africa. The PIC invests GEPF assets in equities, fixed-income investments and retail, corporate and industrial properties across South Africa. It also has put funds in the Isibaya Fund, which invests in black economic empowerment●



THE BIGGEST INVESTOR in the Nairobi Securities Exchange is reported to be the National Social Security Fund. It is a statutory public trust set up in 1965 and aims to provide social security to all workers in the formal and informal sectors. In March, acting managing trustee Tom Odongo said it planned to build up to 30,000 homes near Nairobi. It has already built 5,000 housing units as part of its KSh110bn ($1.3bn) property holdings, 30% of its portfolio. At the end of 2007, the cumulative registered membership of the pension fund was about 3 million●



THE MARKET VALUE OF the investments of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) was more than N$50bn ($6.1bn) at the year ending in March. The fund was worth 61% of gross domestic product, 75% of the value of investments from the financial services sector and 86% of the pension industry. Most controversial of all have been the GIPF's efforts to boost local businesses, and more than N$600m has been written off from Development Capital Portfolio investments leading to a series of scandals and police investigations since 2010. The general manager for finance and investments, Conville Britz, says the GIPF intends to put up to 10% of its assets into unlisted Namibian investments as part of a commitment to invest 15% of the portfolio in unlisted investments●



THE GOVERNMENT set up the National Pensions Commission in 2004 to regulate, supervise and ensure the effective administration of pensions, including the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, and to issue guidelines on pension fund investments. This includes making sure that eligible employers comply with mandatory contributions to retirement savings accounts set up by the Pension Reform Act of 2004. There were 4.8 million members in pension schemes in June 2011, and the total value of pension assets was N2.3trn ($14bn)●

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