Proper asset allocation plays a huge role in retirement planning and in a bid to better align your Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) with global trends and standards, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) has introduced the Multi-Fund Structure" which is a framework to ensure that your RSA assets are allocated to suit your age and risk profile.
The Multi-fund structure breaks down the current RSA (Active) fund into three funds namely
- Fund 1 (Aggressive Growth Fund)
- Fund 2 (Balanced Fund)
- Fund 3 (Pre-Retirement Fund)
Whilst still maintaining the Retiree Fund (Fund 4).
The primary differentiating factor of these funds is their level of exposure to variable income assets which have been moderated to reflect the level of risk that is permissible across a broad age range.
We have highlighted the characteristics of the various funds below
|Fund Type||Maximum Exposure to Variable Investment Instruments||Minimum Exposure to Variable Investment Instruments||Citations||Membership||Active Choices|
|Fund I (Aggressive Growth Fund)||75% of Portfolio value||20% of Portfolio value||Strictly based on request but not accessible to Retiree and active contributors of 50 years and above.||Below 50years|
|Fund II (Balanced Fund)||55% of Portfolio value||10% of Portfolio value||It is a default fund for active contributors of 49 years and below||Below 50years||Can move to Fund I|
|20% of Portfolio||5% of Portfolio value||It is a default fund for active contributors of 50years and above||50years -65years||Can move to Fund II|
|10% of Portfolio value||0% of Portfolio value||This is a retiree fund, so it is strictly for Retirees||Above 65years|
When will this new guideline take effect?The Multi-fund structure will be effective on July 1 2018 and all RSA holders will be assigned to the various funds by default based on their age.
What has age and risk profile got to do with how my pension funds are invested?
In investing money, the rule of thumb is that your risk appetite decreases as you grow older. This principle has also been applied to the multi-fund structure to ensure that your funds are invested in assets that clearly align with your age and risk appetite.
What is the rationale behind the multi-fund structure and how does this benefit account holders?
The multi-fund structure primarily allows Retirement Savings Account holders to decide how they will like their savings to be invested depending on their risk appetite.
For instance a 20 year old fresh graduate is expected to have a higher risk appetite and will not be averse to investing higher percentages of his portfolio in variable income investments e.g. stocks this may likely guarantee him higher yields and help build up his retirements savings faster. A 40 year old man on the other hand will be more comfortable to settle for fixed gains on his portfolio with a lower percentage invested in variable income assets because he is likely to be more risk averse because of his age and the size of his retirement portfolio.
A retiree also will have a lower risk appetite than the 40 year old and would require a lower percentage of his portfolio in variable income investments and a higher percentage in fixed income to ensure 100% value preservation.
With the multi-fund structure, the 20-year-old, 40 year old and the retiree for instance can have retirement savings accounts with the same Pension Fund Administrator but have their portfolios managed differently.
What impact does Multi-Fund structure have on my future pension assets at the point of retirement?
The Multi-Fund structure provides more alignment between your retirement goals, risk appetite and age. Consequently, there will be a better chance for your pension assets to meet your expectations when you retire
Can I decide which Fund type to be assigned to?
On the commencement date (July 1, 2018) , a default assignment based on age will apply. All active members that are 49 years and below will be placed in the Balanced Fund (Fund II) and active contributors above 50 years would be placed in Pre-Retirement Fund (Fund III). However, subsequently active contributors can apply to switch between funds. An active contributor can switch from Balanced Fund (Fund II) to Aggressive Growth Fund (Fund I) while an active contributor in Pre-Retirement Fund (Fund III) can switch to Balanced Fund (Fund II). All retirees are prohibited from switching and active contributors above 50years cannot switch to Aggressive Growth Fund (Fund I).
Are there any benefits in this multi-fund structure?
The new structure allows RSA holders more control over how their pension funds are invested based on their risk tolerance. For instance, an RSA holder in Pre-Retirement Fund (Fund III) owing to the default classification based on age, may have more tolerance for risks and uncertainty and could opt to be assigned to Balanced Fund (Fund II).
What are the requirements for switching from one fund type to another?
To switch from one fund to another, the contributor must submit a formal request to his/her PFA
What are the impacts on my pension balance when my PFA moves into the multi-fund structure?
The balance in your RSA will not change due to the movement to the multi-fund structure because the entire balance would be moved to the appropriate fund without charges. However subsequent growths in your balance would depend on contributions such as the mandatory monthly contributions, voluntary contributions as well as returns generated by the PFA on that particular fund.
As an RSA holder will I have access to the financial reports of other funds?
The annual financial reports of the RSA Funds of all PFAs are published once a year in at least 2 national dailies. In addition, the fund prices would be published daily on the websites of the PFAs.
What Are Variable Income investment?
Variable income instruments are investments that generate income or returns that cannot be pre-determined from the date the investments were made. Such instruments include Ordinary shares and collective investment Schemes. Prices of such instruments fluctuate daily and have the potential to generate high returns over a long term but could risky due to uncertainty and fluctuations in market prices and returns.
Can I split my voluntary contribution in a separate Fund Type while my mandatory goes into another Fund Type?
Every RSA holder is entitled to only one Pin for all types of contributions. Consequently, your Voluntary Contribution will be in the same Fund as your mandatory contribution.
With the new multi-fund structure, can I be given the option to choose which specific variable income instruments my funds can be invested in?
No, the regulation only allows contributors to select a Fund, but the PFAs would continue to have the responsibility of selecting the specific instruments that the Funds would be invested in.
Will the charge for moving between funds be deducted from the RSA or paid as a separate amount in to the bank?
The charge would be deducted from the RSA balance of the contributors.