, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – The pension fund for county government workers in Kenya, Laptrust, has opened a new branch in Kisumu as it seeks to grow revenues by strengthening its membership base in the counties.
Laptrust Chief Executive Officer Hosea Kili says the fund, which has over Sh18 billion in assets, plans to expand to other counties and bring its services closer to members who are spread across the country.
“We have decided to open branches in every county. Kisumu is the first branch outside Nairobi that we are opening in the 84 years of our existence. The decision was aimed at bringing more personalised services to our members in line with our quest to be the pension fund that serves the counties,” Kili said.
He added that the pension scheme was targeting to grow its asset base to Sh22 billion by the end of 2013.
The fund’s net assets improved by 17.6 percent to Sh4 billion in 2012 compared to Sh3.4 billion in 2011, attributable to high returns realised from liquid investments as well as quoted equities.
He says the fund was keen on further diversifying its asset portfolio comprising mainly of property, government securities as well as quoted and unquoted equities.
“We are restructuring our current portfolio, for instance, by investing more in private companies with strong growth potential and optimising our property investments,” he explained.
He added that the fund will soon open other branches in Mombasa, Nyeri and Garissa.
He added that the fund was keen on reducing debt owed by contributors and had successfully recovered Sh4 billion in debts by the end of last year.
The number of pensioners benefiting from the scheme rose from 4,294 to 4,450 in 2012.
The fund’s membership grew from 22,685 in 2011 to 23,458 as at December 31, 2012.
Kili says the improved revenue collection was also partly attributable to improved operational efficiency and enhanced customer service.
The fund’s membership comprises mostly county government employees, previously working for the defunct local authorities.