Member of parliament (MP) Mohamed Fouad, spokesperson for the Wafd Party, submitted a request to Ali Abdul Aal, the speaker of the house, to form a fact-finding committee on the efficiency of investment of pensions’ funds. The request was signed by 21 other MPs.
Fouad highlighted the remarks of Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali that the investments in pension funds have reached EGP 514bn, distributed among various investment vessels, between treasury bonds and bills, bank deposits, shares, and investment fund documents.
He said that the head of the Social Insurance Fund of Governmental Sector Workers showed that the securities portfolios have achieved an investment return ranging from 60-68% since the beginning of the current fiscal year.
Yet, Fouad said that there are indicators that hint to issues, such as complaints by pensioners because of the low value of pensions, as well as that there are some five million pensioners now below the poverty line. He stressed that he cannot accept that pensions are limited to EGP 500 for people 70-80 years of age living amid the dire living conditions, when there could be a possibility for better investment alternatives.
He added that indicators show that the government has about EGP 684bn from pensions, including EGP 162bn with the Ministry of Finance as debt, and has not paid any returns on them over the past ten years.
Fouad said that he demands finding the real size of the funds invested from pension funds, and the verification of other investment alternatives available.
Fouad pointed to the importance of investigating the facts related to previous data under the surrounding inflation and the difficulty of living conditions that require the search for the best return on pension funds so as not to become an easy alternative to government borrowing.