Pension fund collects MVR3.5bn in six years

The pension fund collected MVR3.5 billion (US$226.9 million) during the past six years, the CEO of the Maldives Pension Administration Office (MPAO) has revealed.

Mohamed Hussain Manik told the press at a function held on Wednesday to mark the fund’s sixth anniversary that the pension office has been investing in government treasury bills. The office has purchased the highest number of T-bills so far, he added.

Manik said the MPAO is planning to launch a housing scheme and a disability insurance scheme.

Under the housing scheme, an employees’ savings with the pension fund will be “securitised” or used as mortgage.

A 20 percent downpayment is usually needed to buy a home or apartment, he explained, and the pension office “will give guarantee to the bank that if the [home owner] is unable to pay the 20 percent, the money kept as a mortgage can be given to the bank under an arrangement.”

The pension office is consulting with the relevant authorities and banks to finalise the scheme, he said.

Manik said the office estimates 3,000 employees could benefit from the housing scheme.

The disability scheme is meanwhile aimed for employees who suffer debilitating workplace injuries. The employee will be able to withdraw from the pension fund if he or she is unable to continue working.

The MPAO has also filed several lawsuits against employers who do not contribute to the retirement pension scheme as mandated by law. The Pensions Act require a monthly contribution of seven percent of pensionable wage from both the employer and employee.

Manik said some employers owe the state “huge sums of money” in unpaid contributions, adding that signing up to the scheme was the responsibility of employers, even if a business has only one staff member.

At last week’s ceremony, he MPAO also launched a new rebranded website, hotline (1441) and mobile app to improve services.