Your pension fund lives in your retirement savings account in the custody of your pension fund custodian (PFC), but you can’t open an account directly with a PFC in Nigeria. What you can do, however, is open an account with a pension fund administrator (PFA), who in turn chooses a PFC on your behalf.
While your PFA doesn’t have custody of the money in your retirement savings accounts, it’s essential to choose an excellent one, as they decide what happens to the money with your PFC. If you’re wondering how, let’s first find out what PFAs do before listing the best pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
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What are Pension Fund Administrators in Nigeria?
Before jumping into the list of pension fund administrators in Nigeria, it’s essential to understand what a pension fund administrator means, as well as the differences between a pension fund custodian and a pension fund administrator.
Put simply, pension fund administrators refer to companies licensed to manage the pension funds in employees’ retirement savings accounts (RSAs).
Note that a pension fund administrator differs from a pension fund custodian (PFC), in the sense that the latter only manages and invests the funds in an employee’s retirement savings account, while the latter assumes the responsibility of safekeeping pension funds and assets on behalf of contributors.
While management is the biggest function of pension fund administrators in Nigeria, they’re responsible for a bit more than that. Some auxiliary functions of a pension fund administrator include creating new retirement savings accounts for contributors, facilitating the payment of retirement benefits, and appointing a pension fund custodian for the contributor.
With this out of the way, it’s time to take a look at the best pension fund administrators in Nigeria for the best returns.
List of Pension Fund Administrators in Nigeria
PenCom, the body responsible for the regulation of pension fund administrators in Nigeria, is very restrictive about who gets to become a pension fund administrator or custodian. As such, there are only three custodians and 19 administrators licensed to manage pension funds in Nigeria.
Since you’re going to end up choosing only one of these pension fund administrators anyway, it wouldn’t help much to list them all here. So, to render the maximum help, here are the 10 best pension fund administrators in Nigeria right now:
1. Access Pensions Limited
Access Pensions prides itself as the fourth largest pension fund administrator in Nigeria, with over N1 trillion worth of assets under management and at least 1 million active retirement savings accounts. It’s a subsidiary of Access Corporation, the same company behind Access Bank PLC, which you probably already have deduced.
Access Pensions currently partners with 11 state governments in Nigeria on pension management, which is no mean feat. Their services include opening RSAs, facilitating voluntary contributions, and facilitating RSA transfers from other pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
While Access Pensions is currently one of the biggest pension fund administrators in Nigeria, it still has a lot of room for growth, especially as it’s a sister company to the largest bank in Africa by customer base.
2. Fidelity Pension Managers Limited
If Fidelity Pension Managers’ mission of providing safe and rewarding pension services resonates better with you, you might want to try their innovative pension management scheme. Also, if it’s not already very obvious, this company is associated with Fidelity Bank, following the trend of the initial PFA on this list.
Fidelity Pension Managers can help create retirement savings accounts, facilitate voluntary contributions, arrange micro pension services for self-employed contributors, help retrieve your NSIFT funds, set up cross-border pensions for Nigerians in the diaspora, and offer retirement advisory services to contributors.
With an investment philosophy that prioritizes long-term opportunities with moneymaking potential, Fidelity Pension Managers is unarguably one of the best pension fund managers in Nigeria.
3. FCMB Pensions Limited
As the name implies, FCMB Pensions Limited is associated with the popular FCMB Group which operates one of Nigeria’s most popular banks. Like most other Nigerian heavyweight banks, FCMB has a side pension fund administration business that promises to help make accessing your retirement benefits much easier.
FCMB Pensions offers different pension plans for every need: there’s a multi-fund structure for eligible contributors; an individual pension plan for the informal sector; and a business pension plan for companies with at least three employees.
Any eligible employee can register a retirement savings account with FCMB Pensions Limited online or by visiting any of their numerous service centers spread across Nigeria. No doubt, FCMB’s reputation firmly puts it among the best pension fund managers in Nigeria.
4. Guaranty Trust Pension Managers Limited
If you already have a bank account with Guaranty Trust Bank, why not take your trust a step further by also trusting them with your retirement savings account? Like most other pension fund administrators in Nigeria, GT Pension Managers’ services include creating retirement savings accounts, operating micro pension accounts, and voluntary contributions.
As hinted above, Guaranty Trust Pension Managers is a sister company of GTBank, and they’re fully licensed to offer pension fund administration services in Nigeria. If you want the GTB’s reputation for your pension funds, GT Pension Managers Limited is the way to go.
5. Leadway Pensure PFA Limited
If you’ve watched enough TV content in Nigeria, you must have seen at least one or two ads for Leadway Pensure PFA, so this is likely not your first introduction to the company. With over 695,000 registered retirement savings accounts and a share capital of over N2 billion, Leadway Pensure PFA is easily one of the foremost pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
Leadway Pensure PFA uses all three licensed custodians for customers and offers a diverse range of services, including RSA registration, the micro pension scheme for small business owners, and cross-border pension arrangements for Nigerians in the diaspora.
Leadway Pensure PFA may not have the name or backing of a big Nigerian bank, but it has managed to make a name for itself among pension fund administrators in Nigeria nonetheless.
6. Pensions Alliance Limited
Pensions Alliance Limited (PAL) is another popular pension fund administrator without direct ties to a giant Nigerian bank, and it seems to be doing well for itself. With over 500,000 retirement savings accounts under management, it’s barely behind Leadway Pensure, despite being younger and with less marketing.
PAL Pensions offers several services, including micro pension for eligible contributors, recapturing, additional voluntary contributions, and RSA registration. With over 15 years of experience in pension fund management and administration, you can trust PAL Pensions to do its job diligently, at least.
The pension fund administrator has an app on the App Store (for iPhones) and the Play Store (for Android devices) that lets you make retirement decisions easily and on the go. No doubt, PAL Pensions is one of the most innovative pension fund administrators in Nigeria, and that matters too.
7. Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited is a pretty compelling PFA for Nigerians, if not for their affiliation with Stanbic IBTC, then for their gigantic user base of 2 million contributors. With promises of transparency, safety, and convenience, Stanbic IBTC can be trusted to run one of the best pension fund administrators in Nigeria, at least from its track record.
The company offers a plethora of services, but the main ones include opening a retirement savings account, opening micro pension accounts, facilitating voluntary contributions, and easing your retirement. If you’re sold, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited will facilitate your transfer from your previous PFA easily and for free.
8. Veritas Glanvills Pensions Limited
Veritas Glanvills Pensions Limited claims to be the fastest-growing PFA in Nigeria, a claim we couldn’t independently verify from any neutral source. However, it appeared on Nairametrics’ list of the best-performing pension fund administrators in Nigeria for Q3 2022, so that’s probably a reason to consider using it
Veritas Glanvills offers more services than the average PFA; in addition to retirement savings accounts, micro pension plans, and additional voluntary contributions, the company also offers portfolio management, pension advisory, and a Sharia retirement fund, which you don’t see often with pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
It’s not the biggest PFA on this list, but it offers unique value propositions that make it likely to be among the fastest-growing pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
9. NPF Pensions Fund Administrators Limited
Since members of the Nigerian Police Force aren’t exempt from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) yet, they’re all automatically enrolled in the program through the NPF Pensions Fund Administrators Limited. However, police officers who would rather use another PFA will have the option to change during the migration window.
One of the body’s standout characteristics is its exclusivity to the Nigerian Police Force. Its focus on a specific demographic makes certain services unnecessary, like the micro pension program for example. However, the NPF Pension Fund Administrators Limited still provides users with retirement savings accounts, additional voluntary contributions, and access to financial planning.
The NPF Pensions Fund Administrators use the same Pension Fund Custodian for all funds: First Pension Fund Custodian Limited. If you’re in the police and you have no problem with First Bank or any of its subsidiaries, the NPF Pensions Fund Administrators Limited is easily one of the best pension fund administrators in Nigeria for you.
10. Nigerian University Pension Management Company
Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO) is just like the NPF Pensions Fund, but instead of being for police officers, it’s for workers in the university system. NUPEMCO is not limited to academic university staff; if you’re a member of ASUU, NUC, NASU, SSANU, or NAAT, you’re automatically qualified to enroll with NUPEMCO as your PFA.
NUPEMCO claims to address the peculiarities of the Nigerian university system, and it does offer unique benefits to workers in the Nigerian university system. For instance, it has offices at every university nationwide, making it easy to reach out to a representative whenever something goes south.
NUPEMCO may not be available to everyone, but if you work within the Nigerian university system, you’ll struggle to find better pension fund administrators in Nigeria.
Managing your pension funds under Nigeria’s Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) isn’t your responsibility. However, it’s upon you to delegate that responsibility to a reliable PFA with a track record of growing contributors’ funds consistently over the years.
Since you likely know next to nothing about pension fund administrators in Nigeria, this article helps you out by listing the best 10, so your selection can be easier than going into the entire process blind.
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