This week, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) released its most recent results, which among other things, showed a 90% leap in earnings compared to projections.
The results for the Fundâ€™s third-quarter, NSSFâ€™s year runs from July-June, showed that the balance sheet had crossed the sh1,000b mark for the first time ever.
NSSFâ€™s managing director David Jamwa attributed this to a more aggressive asset allocation strategy and vigilant cost management.
Last year, when Jamwa took over the helm of the NSSF, he pledged to shift the asset allocation more towards higher-yielding equity and away from real estate and fixed income assets which have lower returns.
Since then, the Fund has bought a 20% stake in the Kampala Serena Hotel, upped its stake in Stanbic Bank to more than sh20b and staked more than sh50b in the Safaricom IPO. In the meantime, they also liquidated a large portion of their Treasury bond position and now have more than sh400b in cash and fixed deposits, money ready to be deployed.
NSSF has already moved to start a project that will construct 5,000 housing units in Kampala and is working to resolve the Nsimbe Estate imbroglio.
This should all work in contributing to workersâ€™ benefits. Jamwa has pledged to raise interest on contributions to 12% by 2012 compared to the current 7%.
NSSFâ€™s management will hold its first annual general meeting this year at which they will lay out their investment policy.
This is crucial because it is against this policy and the subsequent results, in the way of improved returns for workers, that the management will be judged.
The results of pension funds and money managers the world over are judged over 10-20 years.
In the long term business that is social security, the NSSF management has taken the first step in a thousand mile journey. If they can maintain discipline, there is no reason why NSSF should fail to deliver.
NSSFâ€™s thousand mile journey