KAMPALA – Pension administrator, Enwealth Financial Services, has expanded its operations to Uganda after being licensed by Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (UBRA).
Enwealth, a financial services provider offering pension retirement training and consultancy services was founded in Kenya in 2011, and currently manages pension assets worth over USh2 trillion and servicing over 120 clients.
Over the last eight years, Enwealth says it has been leading in innovative services and impacted more than 40,000 people in 12 countries within Africa.
“We have keenly observed the Pension industry in Uganda growing steadily under a strong regulatory regime. We are therefore committed to introducing sustainable retirement investment options that provide a regular cash-flow during retirement such as Income Drawdowns, Diaspora and Expatriates fund, and Post-retirement Healthcare fund to guarantee security in retirement,” said Enwealth CEO, Simon Wafubwa while making the announcement on February 21.
Liberalizing the pensions sector
The firm joins nine other pension administrators that are currently licensed by URBRA as a result of the ongoing reform agenda to liberalize the sector.
According to URBRA, the pension sector covers only about two million of Uganda’s population which is less than 10 per cent of the population. The pension sector is currently contributing more than nine per cent to the country’s GDP, and is projected to contribute a higher share in the near future. According to the regulator the sector’s portfolio is now growing with NSSF recording USh9 trillion in March 2018 from USh3 trillion at inception. Other schemes are holding nearly USh1.6 trillion.
Wafubwa said Enwealth’s key target market will be the small and medium enterprises which are currently underserved. The SMEs employ over 2.5 million people; but due to the levels of income and lack access to information, majority of them do not have any retirement plan. Enwealth has tailor-made products for this market as well financial literacy programmes to encourage the population to save more and secure their financial security in retirement.
“We see a very vibrant, robust and well regulated sector with increased coverage and asset portfolio. With more players joining the market, we will see more products suited for markets that have not had access to retirement benefits before. We are also adapting to modern supervisory tools to ensure that people’s savings are secure,” said Martin A. Nsubuga, CEO URBRA at the Enwealth Launch.
Saving culture in Uganda
Notably, the 2016 World Bank World Development Indicators report noted that Ugandans save around five percent of their monthly earnings. This was the lowest record in comparison to other countries in the East African region whose records stood at 23 percent for Kenya, 13 percent for Tanzania and 18 percent for Rwanda.
“Since the sector started the process of liberalization, we have seen more service providers invest in the market and more pension schemes formed. All these efforts have gone a long way in improving the saving levels of Ugandans,” added URBRA CEO.
Additionally, Enwealth says it will provide well researched information on issues affecting financial services, social security and employee benefits in Uganda through their regular research based report and debate dubbed Enwealth Conversations.
With the expansion to Uganda, Enwealth joins a number of other financial sector players including banks and insurance companies seeking to establish solid presence across all the markets in East Africa.