Unclaimed pensions jump in Q1, 2020

Unclaimed pensions jump in Q1, 2020

Harare (New Ziana) – The pension industry owes pensioners $150 million in unclaimed benefits, the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) said on Monday, calling on the sector to sensitise its members on how to file for benefits before retirement.

In its report for the quarter ending March 2020, IPEC said this was a
huge jump in unclaimed benefits from $30.83 million at the end of
December last year.

“The notable increase was as a result of a number of funds which
previously omitted reporting on unclaimed benefits,” IPEC said.

The number of members who are yet to get their dues after retirement
more than doubled to 144 609 during the period from 57 815 at the end
of 2019.

The clothing industry accounted for 74 645 members with unclaimed benefits.

“Given the high number of members with unclaimed benefits, pension funds are encouraged to be proactive in empowering their members with
knowledge on how to timely file for their benefits, through pre-retirement education and pamphlets,” IPEC said.

Membership of the industry, which had 955 registered funds at the end
of March 2020, jumped to 887 746 from 809 176 at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the industry saw its income for the period surge to $5.79
billion from $214 million for the same period in 2019.

“The income was driven by interest from investments, which constituted
51.21 percent, and fair value gains (36.75 percent), whose combined
share amounted to $5.09 billion,” IPEC said.

Its asset base stood at $29.8 billion, up 80.33 percent at the end of
December 2019.

“Investment property and equities continue to re-price faster than all
other asset classes, thus diluting exposures to these assets,” the
industry regulator said.

“As a result, investment property and equities were valued at $24.64
billion, accounting for 82.67 percent of total industry assets.”

IPEC, however, said the industry’s prescribed assets which stood at $2.29 billion at the end of March 2020, constituted 7.67 percent of the sector’s asset base, far lower than the regulatory minimum of 20 percent.
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