BUSINESS

SATURNIA REGNA PENSION FUND RECORDS 24% GROSS INVESTMENT RETURN

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Saturnia Regna: Zambia’s largest private pension fund.

…As country’s largest private pension fund takes 27% market share in 2021.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – The Saturnia Regna Pension Fund (SRPF) earned its member a 23.7 percent gross investment return last year, helping it retain its position as the nation’s largest private pension fund.

Net assets stood at K2.961 billion at the end of the year, with an extra nine new employers joining the fund during the year, bringing the total sponsorship to 200 members encompassing a combined 36,130 employees.

The fund also posted a 20.4 percent appreciable return for the year ended December 31, 2021 – one of the largest bonus declarations in recent years.

Saturnia Regna’s performance was largely driven by the local equity’s “stellar” performance of 51 percent, as well as the 47.4 percent posted in bond portfolio for the year, explained SRPF Board of Trustees Chairperson Mr Collins Hamusonde.

Further, gains were recorded in the property and fixed interest portfolios arising from rental and interest income, while the offshore equities suffered losses on account of the local currency’s appreciation during the year.

Announcing the fund’s annual results during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) Mr Hamusonde explained that in US dollar terms offshore equities posted gains on the back of continued global economic recovery, adding that the benchmark performance was bolstered by annual local equity and bond returns which collectively had a weight of 55 percent.

Mr Hamusonde noted that he was pleased with Saturnia’s performance and resilience in the face of sustained headwinds from inflation, the effects of COVID-19 and a general downturn in the local economy. 

“I am pleased that our fund has continued to grow from strength to strength, despite numerous challenges we faced in 2021,” he said.

“The Board of Trustees has worked very hard and tirelessly to stabilise the fund in the current turbulent economic environment. Credit should also go to you as members for your patience and the confidence that you have placed in your Board’s ability to achieve the objectives of the Fund,” he told members.

SRPF continues to be the country’s largest private pension fund, with a sustained market share of about 27 percent.

The Accumulated Net Asset value held for the Members was K2.961 billion from K2.937 billion in 2020, while the Net Asset Value for the sector stood at K10.84 billion as at December 31, 2021 according to the latest data from the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA).

Nine new participating employers joined the Fund during the year under review while five companies were closed due to COVID-19. 

“Of the five companies that closed, we are proud to say that all members were paid their dues,” noted Mr Hamusonde.

“In terms of benefit pay-outs to exited members, the fund paid out a total amount of K311 million against pension contribution revenues of K355 million during the year under review – from K288 million the previous year, representing an 8 percent increase.”

Going forward, SRPF’s Board of Trustees has undertaken a review of the strategic asset allocation considering the risk tolerance of the fund as well as historical asset class returns in view of prevailing market trends.

“Despite the vast membership of the scheme, a majority of the participating funds are skewed towards those retiring in the medium to short term,” the Board Chair explained.

“Investments, therefore, would need to be skewed towards stable assets such as Government bonds with a reduction in riskier growth assets like local equities. Further, a strategy has been adopted to improve the property mix towards high yielding assets and the inclusion of non-traditional sectors to improve diversification.”

The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) in its quest to enhance protection of pension schemes and enhance confidence in the pensions industry, issued Corporate Governance Guidelines pursuant to Sections 38 of the Pensions Scheme Regulation Act No.28 of 1996.

The guidelines are centred on enhancing the practice of good corporate governance and have set out minimum compliance standard by those charged with governance of pension schemes and their agents.

Mr Hamusonde said that the new guidelines had necessitated the need to amend the provisions of the trust deed and rules of the fund, and that these revisions were being brought before the members for approval.

About Saturnia Regna Pension Fund

The Saturnia Regna Pension Fund is Zambia’s largest private pension fund, providing pension plans to employees at 200 corporates covering more than 36,130 employees.

The fund manages K3 billion of net assets including shares in most of the companies listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange (LuSE) and investments in Zambian Government Treasuries.