THE National Pension Commission, PenCom, Thursday, said the total pension assets as at February, 2018, stood at N7.8 trillion. Acting Director General of PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir Umar, who disclosed this at a workshop organised for journalists with theme,” Contributory Pension Sheme:Achievements and Challenges” , informed that the figure represented an increase of N270 billion, up from N7.52 trillion recorded as at December 31, 2017. Represented by the Commission Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mr Muhammed Sani Muhammed, the Acting Director General stated: “The net assets value of the pension assets of the contributory pension fund was N7.779 Trillion as at 28 February, 2018. This represents an increase Of N270 billion up from the value of N7.52 trillion as at December 2017. This increase is attributed to new contributions received, interest/coupon from fixed income securities and net realised/unrealised gains on equities and mutual fund investments. “The number of contributors had grown by 390,000 as it increased from 7.50 million as at March 2017 to 7.8 million as at December, 2017 and then to 7.90 million as at February 2018. The Commision is intensifying efforts at ensuring the provision of necessary infrastructure for the launching of the micro pension scheme in line with the Commission’s strategic objective of expanding coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS to the under-served sectors. This is a major kernel of the strategy for expanding coverage of the contributory pension scheme. Meanwhile, the guidelines for the micro pension scheme are benigno finallsed preparatory to the commencement of the scheme. “In order to enhance the monthly pension of retirees in the CPS , the Commission initiated the pension enhancement programme. It was discovered that the returns being generated by the Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs on the balances of the Retirement Saving Accounts, RSAs of majority of retirees could be used to enhance their monthly pensions. Consequently, the Commission sought for and obtained the approval of the secretary to the government of the federation to implement the pension enhancement , which resulted in increased monthly pensions for most retirees receiving pension under programmed withdrawal arrangement. Accordingly, the PFAs have commenced the enhancement of pensions of all retirees under programmed withdrawal with effect from December In his paper, on RSA multi-fund investment, Mr Ibrahim Kangiwa, from the PENCOM Investment Department said the commission was taking steps to ensure safety of funds and fair returns to contributors. While listing Kangiwa the proposed fund types and the default mechanism for the allocation of contributors, he noted that there are fund for contributors for young, middle-age (49 years and below), pre-retirees (50 years and above) and fund for retirees. According to him, the proposed implementation date was July 1, and that the multifund investment structure for RSA would address the varing risk appepite for contributors. He said that the fund are tailored to fit the ages and risk profiles for contributors and also would benefit the economy because the pension would be channeled into key areas such ad infrastructure and housing.