Tuesday, September 29, 2020

BPOPF completes data discrepancy investigations

Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) has finally lifted the cloud of anxiety that has been hanging over members heads since last year when the country’s biggest pension fund failed to send benefit statements.

BPOPF this week announced to its more than 154 000 members that it has declared the final interest rates for the financial year ended 31 March 2017, with active and deferred members getting 4.75 percent while with-profit pensioners getting 1.5 percent bump.

However it was the new information that excited members, stating that by end of September they will start receiving their benefit statements which gives a detailed view of a member’s current pension. BPOPF members had expressed concerns over the absence of these statements, with their fears heightened by the financial scandals that affected BPOPF directly and indirectly.

Faced with members wrath over the delay in issuing benefit statements, BPOPF previously said that it is dealing with data discrepancy which was revealed in its latest actuarial report. The fund said that it had engaged an independent actuary to assess the accuracy of the findings and to determine the correct position. The exercise was expected to be complete two months back.

While the BPOPF is yet to share the information of the findings with the public, the fund says the latest announcement to issue benefit statements follows the successful conclusion of the data investigation for 2016/2017.

In another piece of news that will delight those who retired last year and struggled to get their pension payouts, the fund says the pensioners will receive their adjusted pensions together with arrears from 1st April 2017 by last week of September.

It has been a week of wins for the country’s largest pension fund as it scored another win last week Friday when the country’s Court of Appeal ruled in its favour to place one of its errant asset manager under statutory management. Now with the asset manager restrained, BPOPF is expected to pursue every available avenue to recover the more than P400 million it invested through a partnership with the asset manager.

While BPOPF is yet to release its 2016/2017 annual report, the fund to date is estimated to have assets of P62.5 billion, with P35.7 billion invested offshore and P26.8 billion invested locally.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.