By Elvis Nashilongo
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) considers itself to be an intrinsic part of the workers’ richest and fondest history. The nature and origin of the Fund is anchored on the idea of investing in the future of the working class. Therefore our tale as an institution of note within the Namibian socio-economic arena will never be complete without a striking reflection on the workers’ contribution.
As workers take a break to commemorate the International Day of workers world wide, we also wish to pause as an organization with a symbiotic relationship with the working class to express gratitude for the countless sacrifices made by Namibian workers. We particularly wish to pay tribute to both past and present members of the Fund for the unequivocal demonstration of faith in what we do.
The GIPF, established on the eve of Namibia’s independence, is an institution with a humble beginning. Its origin is inextricably linked to the agenda that marked our country’s political and economic transformation of March 1990.
The Fund took off with a meagre asset base of just below N$1 billion. Now after two decades into independence the Fund grew to over N$74 billion.
This asset base is estimated to be approximately 61 percent of the Namibian Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and 75 percent of the total market value of investments in the financial services sector. Given the challenges presented by the turbulent nature of the world economic performance, these are no mean feats.
The Fund remains a defined benefit scheme where members’ benefits are guaranteed and its pension calculation formula is considered to be among the best in the world. Notwithstanding our achievement in this regard, we remain mindful of our responsibility to manage the balance between the Fund’s assets and liabilities as benefit payments surge.
Certainly, the challenge of any pension fund is to maintain a reasonable benefits structure for its members in the space of declining economic growth and market volatility. In view of the long-term notion of the pension funds’ obligations, prudence and sustainable management of assets define the model of success.
Our promise to members of the Fund on this very important day is the renewed commitment to guard these assets at all times. We continue to innovate on the best ways to keep the Fund’s benefits structure in line with market levels.
• Elvis Nashilongo is the General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Communications at the Government Institutions Pension Fund.
New Era Reporter
2014-04-30 08:57:19 | 6 years ago