Mr. Vikash Peerun
2022 was a year of significant momentum as the Board of Trustees and its professional partners continued to execute the NIC Multi-Employer Pension Scheme’s (the “Scheme”) strategy and mandate to deliver long-term value for our members. Financial markets and the global economy have been facing strong headwinds under the reeling effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, creating a wave of intense speculation and uncertainty within the investment environment. Nevertheless, many notable actions over the last four years have continued to positively impact our financial results, and we are taking decisive actions to position the Scheme for the future.
OVERVIEW OF 2022 PERFORMANCE
The positive financial results for the year ended 30 June 2022 were sustained by an adequate diversification of the investment portfolio across the different asset classes. The Scheme’s portfolio positively delivered investment returns of nearly 4% p.a., despite adverse and stressed market conditions impacted by the war in Ukraine. Investments in financial assets grew by 27% compared to last year.
“The overall fund of the NMEPS grew by 35% to reach MUR 163.6 million in 2022.
During the year, the Scheme saw a surge in incoming contributions, bringing the portfolio contributions to nearly MUR 44m.”
MEMBERSHIP AND SPONSORING EMPLOYERS
Our absolute and overarching commitment to our members remains unchanged. We recognise that their retirement is an important milestone and also an intensively emotional moment. We embrace our duties as trustees to ensure support and professionalism to our members throughout the tenure of their vesting interests with us.
We continually draw on the professional expertise, fairness and equity principles to deliver with empathy on the best possible outcome of their retirement, pension and other applicable benefits such as dread disease, total and permanent disability or death in service. Our membership base is gradually being enlarged with the adherence of five new sponsoring employers to the Scheme for which regulatory approval has been received. We are closing the year with 162 active and 134 deferred members and with the sustained ground efforts of the Promoter’s (National Insurance Co. Ltd) Group Pension sales team, we noted a remarkable interest from corporates and SMEs for occupational pension scheme structures as a value-added and flexible alternative to the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund (PRGF).
With the growing number of requests for quotes, adherence to NMEPS is promising for a broader membership base that will leverage on our investment capabilities and low cost structures. This is in line with our strategy to grow the Scheme through additional sponsoring employers and enlisted members for a stronger asset base that will set the foundations for enhanced value to both active and deferred members.
With this in mind, we are in regular liaison with our Service Providers to ensure that the investment strategy is adapted to the changing demographic profile of our membership base, that the Investment Managers are delivering along the terms of their mandate and that the Administrator\ is adequately equipped with the necessary support resources to deliver on the administrative processes entrusted to them.
During the year, following a major revision of our Scheme rules for improved versatility, we received the requisite regulatory approval to move forward in that respect. This revision was also deemed necessary to ensure compliance with latest statutory changes. We expect that the new Scheme Rules will facilitate the adherence of additional sponsoring employers.
BUSINESS AND REGULATORY LANDSCAPE
The payment to the Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund took effect as from January
2022 and this has encouraged more employers to consider sponsoring new pension schemes for their employees. The Scheme has also benefited from this wave of awareness and interest, and we are optimistic of an upcoming increase in the membership in the coming year.
In light of the foregoing and with the continual change and demands of the labour market, particularly considering talent retention strategies being adopted by employers, the Group Pension business is taking a new shape and the NIC Multi-Employer Pension Scheme will certainly position itself and build on this growing momentum.
The Board of Trustees faces the future with much optimism and we are confident that our strategy and resources are well geared to allow us withstand the challenges that face us and bring the best value and peace of mind to our members.
On this note, I thank the Trustees, the Promoter and our various Service Professionals for their strong collaboration, support and expertise and I thank all our members for their ongoing trust.