Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) management says that the firm’s total assets under management stand at Rwf2.065 trillion, thanks in large part to a 14 percent increase in the financial year ended June 30.
This was announced in a media briefing on Thursday, September 14, as the institution presented its annual performance highlights. Regis Rugemanshuro, RSSB’s Chief Executive Officer, said the pension body registered a net profit of Rwf285.7 billion, a 22 percent increase compared to the 2022/2023 financial year.
Net return on investment increased by three percent totaling Rwf109.6 billion, while total benefits payout increased by 14 percent totaling up to Rwf163.7 billion.
Overall member contribution increased by 24 percent totaling up to Rwf352 billion, a step that further allows RSSB to optimize funds as well as improve the welfare of its members.
“Our mission remains the same; we are here to manage and promote social security in Rwanda, serving you with integrity, collaboration, and accountability,” Rugemanshuro said.
Since receiving its autonomy, Rugemanshuro said, RSSB continues to “embrace a member first, high performance, and operational excellence institution.”
“So far, we have up to six schemes, and we project this figure to keep increasing, as you might understand there were only two schemes at the start of RSSB,” he added.
“With the ongoing transformation, we are creating an organization with a harmonized structure, culture, process and procedures, and IT Systems that are fit for purpose to fulfill RSSB’s mandate and be a key contributor to the realization of Vision 2050 for the country.”
Officials from RSSB also said that pre-retirement saw a surge in contributions, particularly in medical scheme memberships.
Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) coverage reached record rates, with the City of Kigali leading the way with 92 percent. In the same period, EjoHeza subscribers and mandatory scheme contributions increased.
- Changing tack on investment
Despite the shift in asset mix, RSSB still plays a significant role in spurring Rwanda’s economic markets, according to Philippe Watrin, the Chief Investment Officer at RSSB.
Watrin said that under the new investment approach, RSSB is prioritizing fixed investments to spur returns but at the same time expand its socio-economic impact.
He said: “We continue to prioritize fixed investments due to the sustainable returns on the funds’ investment allocations, but we remain committed to boosting our social economic impact.”
For instance, he said, RSSB invested Rwf40 billion in three new companies – Zipline, Katapult Africa, and EABL – during the 2022/2023 financial year.
“These further cement our reach,” he said.
- Real estate investment paying off
It was noted that despite accounting for less than 15 percent of all the investment allocations, real estate investment is, relatively, performing.
Watrin said that some of RSSB’s major real estate investments like the Nyarutarama Plaza (current home to the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority), Grand Pension Plaza which is nearly at full occupancy, and some residential apartments are a testament to the strategic investment.
“Not only are they performing but we are also delivering quality. Past developments notably in the residential areas, we learned a lesson and we are aiming at having significant improvements in terms of procurement and project management of future projects.”
- Attracting best staff
In an earlier interview, Rugemanshuro said that RSSB wants to bring on board the best and brightest people into the country to work for its members (through better resource management) for improved profitability and welfare.
“RSSB has to be the most inspiring institution to work for if you really want to make an impact…We have actually managed to increase the salaries to be competitive enough in the industry. So, we hope those best and brightest can really come to work for RSSB in the country,” he said.
“You can have the money, the tools, but if you don’t have the best people, you are just wasting your time.”
- Going forward
“While we celebrate our successes from the last financial year, RSSB will continue to strive to deliver the institution’s mandate to the public through key targets that have been identified for the current fiscal year,” said Louise Kanyonga, the Board’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
“They include attaining 100 percent CBHI coverage by 2025, and we are also looking at four new initiatives to boost the saving culture. We also expect a growth in total contribution of Rwf378.28 billion, up from the current Rwf352 billion, in large part buoyed by our current investment strategy.”