PUBLIC pension fund National Social Security Authority (NSSA) should refocus its investment policies to support cash-starved key economic sectors and stimulate growth, a senior industry official said on Monday.
NSSA, whose assets were put at nearly $600 million in its latest available annual report for 2011, has 70% of its investments in real estate and equities, with the remainder committed to the money market.
Last month, NSSA general manager James Matiza told Parliament that the authority was providing concessionary lending to the productive sectors of the economy, charging a maximum interest rate of 10% against as much as 35% levied by financial institutions.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce deputy president Davison Norupiri told a parliamentary portfolio committee that NSSA is reluctant to directly fund productive sectors such as the manufacturing industry.
Only last month, NSSA came in for criticism for investing nearly $40 million in the doomed Capital Bank, which eventually wound up, leaving the state fund writing off its investment.
“We believe NSSA is getting a lot of money from industry and employees but is not ploughing back that money. We expect NSSA to plough back that money either through banks or through borrowings but we are not seeing that,” Norupiri said.
“They are investing it where we are not tapping it. They are investing it where they are not growing their own market. Their market is business and as industry to employ more people and you need to create more jobs. I think NSSA has to play a role (in stimulating economic growth.)”
Established in 1994, NSSA operates two schemes – the National Pension Scheme, to which workers and their employers contribute equally, and a compensation fund for workers in the event of injury or death, which is wholly funded by employers.
– The Source