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Trustfund Pension savings hit N250bn

By on November 24, 2013

THE management of Trustfund Pension Plc has announced that the customers savings under its custody has risen to N250 billion with about 560,000 contributors.

THE Abuja Regional Manager of the Trustfund Mr. Maurice Ogar, who disclosed this during the fund’s retiree customer forum in Abuja explained that the forum was necessary so as to save and protect their customers from insurance companies that were using annuity to lure them away.

Mr. Ogar said, “we have in excess of N250 billion as funds under management that we are managing for our customers, and we have 560,000 customers as contributors.”

According to him, “The issue is that the insurance companies, under the law – the Pension Reform Act, 2004 – are allowed to operate one of their products, which is annuity. Annuity is a life insurance policy. The Pension Reform Act, 2004 presents it as one of the options available for retirees to choose for the payment of their entitlements. They either choose a programme withdrawal or the annuity.

“The insurance companies have decided to capitalise on it because they found it easier to sell than the rest of their products, and this is posing a very serious competition to the operators of the pension industry.

“We, too, would not want to sit by, and allow the insurance companies to come and cart away all the money that we have been managing. That is why we found it necessary to explain to them the advantages of lump sum withdrawal as against annuity, as well as other advantages so that they will stay with us.”

He further stated that, “when they (customers) stay with us, they will continue to maintain ownership of their money; but once they buy annuity, the money goes into a pool, which none of them can trace anymore.”

The regional manager observed that the only thing the insurance companies hold when they buy annuity is the promise to pay customers pension for life.

“But when they stay with the programmed withdrawal, they continue to lay claim to the ownership of their money because the account is still maintained by us, and we manage the money so that when anyone of them dies, their next of kin can have access to the same money unlike what happens in annuity.