What you need to know:
- All NSSF investments are safe with 78 percent of the investment in the fixed income, 15 percent in equities and 7 percent in real estate.
Targeted investment style and diversification has helped the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to remain liquid despite the outflow of money in form of midterm access, investments in different instruments and operational costs.
Not only is NSSF liquid but also the savers money has remained safe as nothing fundamental has taken place in the Fund’s operations which remains sound with strategic investment approaches.
The deputy managing director, who is also the acting managing director of NSSF, Mr Patrick Ayota said thoday that the Fund has remained stable because 78 percent of the Fund’s investment income remains very liquid.
“The liquidity level of the NSSF stands at 78 percent because of maturity in the fixed income investment, which constitutes treasury bills and treasury bonds. When they mature, we get paid,” he said.
Mr Ayota explained to Daily Monitor that they have changed their investment strategy by investing in the short term instrument like the treasury bills while diversifying their investment in the East African region, and in other securities of asset class, which are available in the market by buying different stocks.
Mr Ayota said all the NSSF investments are safe with 78 percent of the investment in fixed income, 15 percent in equities and 7 percent in real estate, which all continues to perform well without any disruptions.
“Nothing has changed in these investments and work in its real estate continues; we get paid in form of dividends in our equity investments,” he said.
Adding: “Our portfolio mix is informed by three key factors – the long-term funding needs, the need for diversification, and the reduction of market risk. We continue to delicately balance the risk/return trade-off.”
Despite the negative noise booming, the NSSF management is optimistic that the National Social Security Fund is on track to achieve its key performance targets for the Financial Year 2022/23 after its contributions collection increased and realised income grew by 22 percent and 17 percent respectively for half year to the end of December 2022.
Mr Ayota announced that the half-year contribution collected by the Fund topped Shs786 billion, compared to Shs643 billion over the same period last financial year. The Fund’s realised income also increased to Shs1.054 trillion in December 2022 from Shs900 billion over the same period last financial year, driven by higher interest rates on Fixed Income investments.
“This half-year performance, which is better than what we achieved over the same period in the previous financial year puts us in a very good position to achieve our 2022/23 targets. It also shows that our members-both employers and workers - have trust in the fund as their social security and savings partners, Mr Ayota said.
The Fund has registered 2,078 employers, this is an increase of about 113 percent compared to the same period last Financial Year when the Fund registered only 975 employers.
The Fund registered 67,277 employees over the last six months. This is an increase of about 32.5% compared to the same period last Financial Year when the Fund registered only 50,762 employees.
Mr Ayota said the general public has embraced registration and contributions for their long savings.
The Fund’s asset size has also increased from Shs17.65 trillion in July 2022 to Shs17.8 trillion in December 2022. Mr Ayota stressed that although the rate reduced compared to the same period last financial year, the reduction is attributed to increased benefits payout.
The NSSF paid out Shs712 billion over the six months to December 2022 compared to Shs364 billion over the same period in the previous year.
“The increase in benefits payments does not surprise us because this is the trend in the first half of the year because qualifying beneficiaries tend to wait for interest rates declaration, we paid Shs217.9 billion and Shs208.6 billion respectively,” Mr Ayota said.
Speaking about the planned initiatives to recruit savers from the small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) and informal sectors, Mr Ayota said the fund is ready to fulfill its mandate following presidential assent to the National Social Security Fund Amendment Act 2022.
However, Mr Ayota said the Fund will roll out a recruitment plan after the issuance of the Regulations by the Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.
“Our plan revolves around two strategic pillars-creating the capacity of Ugandans to save and creating a willingness by Ugandans to save.
That will enable us to achieve the overriding national goal of expanding coverage by 2035. A capacity to save will also tackle the strategic challenge of ensuring compliance with the NSSF Act as amended,” he said.
Mr Ayota added that the goal is to expand coverage of basic social security in Uganda from 1.3m members with balances in NSSF to 15m Ugandans by 2035.
He also pointed that the Fund will roll out this plan once the Regulations for Voluntary Savings have been issued.