The National pension Commission has come out in defence of Leadway Pensure Limited involvement of any breach of the regulations on investment of pension fund assets.
PenCom said in a statement that it has become necessary to take a stand as the pension regulator with a clarification on alleged breach of the regulations on investment of pension fund assets in the equities of FBN Holdings Plc by Leadway Pension Limited, and insists “the allegations are not correct and must have been made based on the lack of understanding of the investment regulation issued by the Commission.”
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission said the misunderstood investment are pension funds under Leadway management that belong to the RSA holders and “cannot be appropriated or classified as shareholdings of any related party to the PFA.” PenCom also clears that its position on the said investment is corroborated by the Security and Exchange Commission.
PenCom clears that all flanks of investments are protected by several independent operators and rules without any strand of collision, pointing out that pension fund assets are managed by licensed PFAs and held in custody by pension fund custodians (PFC) on behalf of retirement savings account holders and other beneficiaries of the contributory pension scheme, in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
Citing relevant section of the PRA 2014 that investments made by licensed PFAs in eligible securities and corporate entities are “ring fenced” and belong to the RSA holders and other pension beneficiaries and therefore, “cannot be appropriated directly or indirectly to any individual or related party of the PFA.”
Saying there is no trace of wrongdoing, PenCom cites section 6 (iii) of the investment regulation dealing with conflict of interest, stipulate that “The PFA or any of its agents are prohibited from investing pension fund assets in the shares or any other securities, issued through public or private placement arrangements, by related party/person of any shareholder of the PFA.”
The PRA 2014 defines a related persons/party to “includes natural persons related by blood, adoption or marriage; legal entities one of which has control or significant influence over the other, or both of which are controlled by some other person or entity; a corporate entity where any of the aforementioned holds 5% or more beneficial interest; and any other relationship that can be reasonably construed as related persons or parties.” And PenCom insists none of this can be traced to Leadway Pensure in the said investment.