THE GUARDIAN’S SPECIAL FOCUS ON PFAs THAT CAN BE TRUSTED FOR EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICES IN NIGERIA
Why PAL Pension places high priority on customer satisfaction, by Jijji
Pension Alliance Ltd (PAL Pensions) was one of the first seven pension fund administrators (PFAs), that were licensed by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in 2005. Today, with a total Asset Under Management of over N665 billion and a client size of over 600,000 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders, it has carved a niche for itself in the business of managing and administering retirement savings contributions of employees in the country and become a topmost player in the industry.
A PFA that has a strong desire to always provide efficient customer service to its clients, the company has made it a policy to focus on excellence in PFA services, innovative investment solutions, seamless technology and online presence. This has made it able to consistently adapt to changing regulatory requirements and punctuality in the payment of clients retirement benefits.
According to Sa’adu Jijji, the Acting Managing Director, PAL Pensions has a customer base which cuts across the key segments of the Pension Industry including the private sector, public sector and legacy schemes. He added that since establishment it has recorded giant strides which catapulted it to be top in the industry. Reeling out some of its key milestones, he said “PAL has experienced substantial growth in its operations and market presence. It has become one of the most consistent and leading pension fund administrators in Nigeria, managing significant pension assets and serving a large customer base.”
Speaking further, he stated that “PAL has invested in robust information technology infrastructure and digital solutions to enhance its service delivery. It has adopted innovative technological platforms for efficient pension fund administration, online access to pension accounts, and seamless communication with clients. Also, it has demonstrated a strong track record in investment performance. Through effective risk management and prudent investment strategies, it has consistently delivered competitive returns on pension funds, while ensuring the growth and sustainability of customers’ retirement savings.
While pointing out more achievements of his firm, he declared that “PAL places high priority on customer satisfaction. It has built a reputation for delivering excellent customer service, promptly addressing inquiries and concerns and providing accuracy and timely information to pension contributors and retirees. The firm has also been involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives, supporting various community/corporate development projects. This showcases the company’s commitment to giving back to society and making a positive impact beyond its core business operations.”
To be able to serve its customers very well, he explained that they have presence in all the states of the federation while there are eight regional offices. Their key products, according to him, are retirement savings account, mulitifund structure, voluntary contribution, micro pension plan, financial advisory and benefits payment, retirement planning, use of pension assets to get a mortgage, and financial literacy webinars and seminars.
He revealed that one of the benefits of using their company is that they give clients the opportunity to save more than the statutory 18% in their retirement savings account adding that this can be used to obtain tax relief. Apart from this, clients can use 25% of their RSA as equity contribution to seek a mortgage for the purchase of a house. Jijji equally disclosed that with the use of professional managers who are responsible for all book and record keeping, they have devised a way through which people in the informal sector can save and invest towards their retirement.
Asked why the firm has consistently committed itself to providing a top of the range customer service, Jijji noted that “The principle is simple reality. We place ourselves in the shoes of our clients. Furthermore, we are always actively listening to our clients in order to efficiently determine their needs and how best to meet them. It is fulfilling for us to create value added services and an enhanced service experience to our clients, some of whom were previously skeptical about the scheme until they engaged with us.”
On how Assets Under Management is being applied, the astute pensions expert disclosed that it is invested in government securities which happen to be the safest asset class; stocks or shares of companies; corporate bonds; mutual funds, real estate, and alternative investments such as private equity, hedge funds, commodities, derivatives, venture capital, and infrastructure projects.
Concerning what determines investment in the aforementioned applications, Jijii informed that these include factors such as risk tolerance and investment objectives. He however assured that his firm can boast of a solid risk framework that safeguards both the contributions and returns on the contributors funds to give clients the confidence of a financially secure future stressing that with them, the client can work today with the mental comfort that his retirement is secure.