Acting Chief Executive Officer, Moemedi Malindah says there has always been a need to diversify Botswana Public Officer Pension Fund (BPOPF) investment portfolio but the outbreak of Covid-19 has amplified the urgency to do so.
Speaking during a media briefing on Monday this week Malindah said, “We should spread investments across many Fund managers who would be taking care of the investment in different countries.”
Malindah noted that although the Covid 19 pandemic has affected the Fund, diversification has helped it to withstand the ripple effects of the virus outbreak.
The Acting CEO further noted that by end of March this year, the Fund’s Active member portfolio declined by 1 percent, while the pre-retirement portfolio appreciated by 4 percent.
But from April until now, Malindah said the Active member portfolio grew by 10 percent, but cautioned that this could change before the financial year-end in March next year.
“But since we have a diversified investment portfolio, we are confident that this would bring desired results,” said Malindah.
He explained that the pandemic has delayed the Fund’s efforts to diversify its investment outside the country due to the ban on travel.
He has also encouraged BPOPF members to always check their benefits statements to see if it is up to date to avoid situations where some members take long to get their pension after their retirement.
“In 2018, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) changed pension funds laws and inserted a clause which requires pension funds not to do fund administration in-house,” he said.
This clause, the acting CEO said has come in handy in improving the service delivery of BPOPF services, bringing down the number of complaints regarding BPOPF in turn.
To be fully complainant with the new cause the Fund has engaged a company called NMG Botswana, to conduct fund administration on behalf of BPOPF.
“We hope our service delivery to our members will go up and queries and complaints will go down,’ Malindah said