National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has recorded a 23% increase in operating profit for half year ending December 31, 2014 when compared to the same period in the last fiscal year, as a result of better returns on its investments and better cost management, according to its latest transparency statement.
NSSF’s profit before interest for the six months increased to Shs 202 billion up from Ugx156 billion during the same period last Financial Year. Over the same period, NSSF’s total assets grew from Shs 3.9 trillion to Ugx4.9 trillion.
The Fund’s Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba also attributed the half year performance to improved investment portfolio allocation, and improved contributions due to better employer engagement.
“Over the six months up to December 31, 2014, we saw increased interest income, which was boosted by higher returns on our fixed Income investments. Our improved efficiencies and better cost management efforts led to a favourable cost income ratio of 12% compared to 15% over the same period the previous year,” Byarugaba said.
Contributions collected from members also increased to Ugx 321 billion compared to Ugx 300 billion over the same period during the previous year due to improved employer compliance.
According to the financial statements showing half year results, NSSF’s improved half year performance is as “a result of improved asset class mix, coupled with a strategic rebalancing of investments from short term commercial paper to medium and long term government paper.”
Over 81% of the Fund’s total investments are in fixed income, while the rest is held in real estate, listed companies such as Umeme, Stanbic Bank, Safaricom, among others, and unlisted companies.
For the half year of 2014/2015, NSSF interest income from Fixed Income investments grew to Ushs 266 billion from Ushs 213.3 billion in the first six months of financial year 2013/2014, representing a 24.7% increase in fixed income.
“This performance puts NSSF in a better position to payout a competitive interest rate to its members at the end of this financial year, in line with our promise to offer a return on members’ savings above a 10 year rate of inflation. It also signifies that the Fund has the ability to continue paying out benefits to retiring members as and when they qualify,” Byarugaba explained.
NSSF has a total of about 1.45 million registered members, and paid an interest rate of 11.5% for the Financial Year 2013/14, about Shs366 billion in monetary terms.
For the six months ending December 2014, the Fund paid Ugx 96 billion in benefits to qualifying members, compared to Ugx 91 billion over the same period the previous Financial Year.
Workers House is NSSF’s most valuable commercial property with a book value of about Ugx53 billion. Other key real estate investments include, Social Security House and Pension Towers.