Despite what he called a tough investment environment, Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has grown by 18% in the past year, Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said in Kampala today.
“The Fund is worth sh6.58 trillion, an 18% growth from 5.55 trillion the previous financial year. Realized revenue went up by 21% from sh 583 billion to sh708 billion,” Byarugaba said at a media briefing on Monday.
He also revealed that benefits paid out to qualifying members increased by 28%, from sh187 billion to 239 billion. Customer satisfaction, he said, increased from 83% to 88%,” he said.
Byarugaba told the press that “the fund is in a strong financial position, and still growing. We are on course to hit sh20 trillion by 2025”
The NSSF investment portfolio mix stands at 77.2% for fixed income, 15.8% for equity and 7.0% for Real Estate. Expense ratio stands at 1.3%, an improvement from 1.4% in the financial year 2014/15 while member contributions in the year increased by 14%, from sh688 billion to sh785 billion.
Byarugaba stressed that NSSF is committed to transparency and accountability. “We have promised our members and the general public that we will be open, listen to them and take the necessary actions in the interest of the savers.
He however warned that the tough investment environment, modest growth of the economy, the effects of the stock market across East Africa, the effects of the depreciation of the shilling, have affected the Fund’s financial performance. He said this may affect the return NSSF will pay to members.
Byarugaba cautioned that despite the good figures posted, it had been a difficult year and the coming year might be no different.
“It was a challenging year by most accounts characterised by weak growth of the economy, volatility of the Uganda shilling, decline of stock market perfomance across the region and the 2016 elections and post elections uncertainty,” Byarugaba said
Byargugaba said he thinks this year could also be challenging as a result of regulatory changes, in particular the capping of interest rates and the uncertainly it has brought the banking sector in Kenya, and the forthcoming elections.
“We will continue to manage our costs to progressively lower the cost of doing business and also take advantage of the available investment opportunities both in Uganda and within the East African region.”
Byarugaba said despite the challenges, the fund remains “focused on building a stronger NSSF, capable of playing a significant role in our country’s economic development”
He said the fund will achieve this “building a strong financial base, innovating to become relevant in members lives, excelling in processes that enhance service delivery and making the NSSF a delightful place to work.”