By Anna Shilongo
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF)’s financial muscle is now a hefty N$34 billion from merely N$1 billion at independence.
This increase constitutes about 40 percent of the total assets of the financial services sector and more than half of the country’s GDP.
Given the volatile nature of the world’s economy this achievement is indeed admirable, said GIPF Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Primus Hango, during the inaguration of a GIPF regional office at Otjiwarongo last week Thursday.
However, Hango was of the opinion that the growth of investment should be translated in tandem with the rate at which the fund’s liabilities are escalating.
In other words, he said, the ratio of benefits paid compared to contributions received worsened from 74,3 percent for the financial year ended 31 March 2006, to 84,1percent as at 31 March 2007.
“This is an indication that the number of pensioners and beneficiaries has been increasing over the past few years due to retirements and increasing HIV/AIDS mortality rates,” he stressed.
GIPF is apprehensive about the current situation and will continue to proactively devise intervention measures such as the HIV/AIDS reserve fund that the fund created.
GIPF is an institution with a core mandate to safeguard and grow retirement savings of some 70 000 members.
“Given this task, we are striving to be a leading pension fund and a model corporate citizen in Namibia,” said the CEO.
“It is in this context that we continue to invest operational expansion strategies that do not only bring services closer to members, but also contribute to the economic sustainability of communities in which we exist,” he stated.
To date, GIPF has opened its doors in seven regions.