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Introduction

Nico Pension services is a leading provider of pension solutions in Africa. Its Head Offices are located at NICO House, 3 Stewart Street in Blantyre in Malawi.

Nico has grown over time to win the trust of companies and individuals on the market. It currently administers over 960 schemes. It has been in the business of managing funds since 1971 as a life and pensions department of NICO Holdings Plc. Today it is a registered stand-alone company with an ownership of 51% by Nico Holdings Plc and 40 % by Sanlam Developing Markets Limited.

With a growing number of clients and the need to develop different products to meet the increasing needs in the African market, Nico pension was confronted with the challenge of managing multiple schemes and products efficiently. There was need to cut down on manual paperwork that was done alongside the system used to manage funds. This and the need to have a system that could allow flexibility and innovativeness in handling the ever-arising challenges in pension fund management, Nico turned to Systech Limited for FundMaster.

Why FundMaster

FundMaster is uniquely tailored for the business and technical needs of any pension and retirement benefit fund administration. Integrated with multiple software components, it is aimed at meeting the growing demands of compliance and service delivery. It is parameter-driven with a comprehensive rule-based engine, and a robust reporting and business intelligence system.

FundMaster is the software of choice with massive adoption in the African market. Its clientele base includes big names in the industry such as:

  • Enterprise Trustees Limited (ETL) – Ghana
  • Benefits Consulting Services (Bencon) – Zambia
  • UAP Holdings – Uganda, Kenya & Sudan
  • Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) – Tanzania
  • Central Bank of Kenya Pensions
  • Mukuba Pension Scheme – Zambia
  • National Social Security and Insurance Trust – Sierra Leone

How FundMaster holistic approach to pension funds management and its state of art technology paid off at Nico

Following the go-live date on 2nd June 2021, NICO Pension has realized the following benefits and challenges on its pension administration business:

  • Benefits Administration
    • Products Management & Scheme set up: Ability to set up new schemes and products. Improved management of schemes’ membership where details are validated at the input stage for batch input or single-member entry. This has helped in cleaning data since the system comes with a functionality to filter any data which is not valid from the data entry level.
    • Contributions Management: The system has made it possible to allocate contributions submitted directly or through online billing. This means that contributions submitted in batches are archived in the system for future reference.
    • Claims Management: The set of configurations for claims computation provided by FundMaster has enabled users to create any claim category and give it a specific flow to suit the regulatory requirement. The configuration under claims setup has also allowed the business to create any document required for all claims created. Once claim documents are submitted, they are scanned and passed on from all users handling that claim without the physical exchange of documents. This has helped the business to eliminate paperwork and mitigate cases where claim documents are lost before payment is made.
  • Annuities / Pensions Payroll: FundMaster Pensioners module allows administration of pensioners’ payroll and carry out all processes from increment allocations and checking of guaranteed period checking.
  •  Fees and Commissions: FundMaster Comes with a fees and commissions module which has computerized the administration of fees and commissions for various brokers and other service provides.
  •  Workflow Engine: system as a workflow module which enables business to monitor production and output per user thus improving efficiency. Nico has yet to tap into the full potential of this engine.
  • Notifications: The system came with a notification mechanism that has been welcomed by almost 99.9% of customers. For a long time, business was struggling to disseminate information to customers. With the flexibility of notification set-up, now customized messages can be sent to customers concerning various events like member on-boarding, contribution allocation, and claim processes.
  • Document Management: Ability to save documents at the scheme and member level using the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) component in the FundMaster.
  • Online Portal, Mobile app, and USSD: These three platforms have provided customers with various modes of accessing their pension information at their comfort.
  • Financial Accounting: The system has enhanced the accounting tanks, especially for accounts payable, receivables, cash management, general ledger, and budgeting. Integration with other systems has enabled Nico to work seamlessly with other entities, especially banks.
  • Reports: With FundMaster the business can generate standard reports from the system for various stakeholders.
  • Costs: Since implementation day, Nico Pension has experienced greater cost-cuts in areas like printing, especially from a claims perspective which previously demanded huge paperwork. Notifications have also contributed much towards lowering the cost communication with customers. Therefore, in the long run, the business will benefit more in terms of such eliminated costs of various resources including humans.
  • Operational Efferences: FundMaster has brought in greater operational efficiencies in Nico business environment both internal through the core system and external through member self-service platforms.

Conclusion

Nico pension services needed a system that would help them administer their schemes with efficacy and FundMaster proved to be that software of choice. As discussed in this paper, Nico has been able to tap into the versatility of FundMaster to solve the problem that held them back for some time.

Five years down the line, Nico continues to enjoy robust support in system application and new developments to support their changing business needs.

Introduction

Nico Pension services is a leading provider of pension solutions in Africa. Its Head Offices are located at NICO House, 3 Stewart Street in Blantyre in Malawi.

Nico has grown over time to win the trust of companies and individuals on the market. It currently administers over 960 schemes. It has been in the business of managing funds since 1971 as a life and pensions department of NICO Holdings Plc. Today it is a registered stand-alone company with an ownership of 51% by Nico Holdings Plc and 40 % by Sanlam Developing Markets Limited.

With a growing number of clients and the need to develop different products to meet the increasing needs in the African market, Nico pension was confronted with the challenge of managing multiple schemes and products efficiently. There was need to cut down on manual paperwork that was done alongside the system used to manage funds. This and the need to have a system that could allow flexibility and innovativeness in handling the ever-arising challenges in pension fund management, Nico turned to Systech Limited for FundMaster.

Why FundMaster

FundMaster is uniquely tailored for the business and technical needs of any pension and retirement benefit fund administration. Integrated with multiple software components, it is aimed at meeting the growing demands of compliance and service delivery. It is parameter-driven with a comprehensive rule-based engine, and a robust reporting and business intelligence system.

FundMaster is the software of choice with massive adoption in the African market. Its clientele base includes big names in the industry such as:

  • Enterprise Trustees Limited (ETL) – Ghana
  • Benefits Consulting Services (Bencon) – Zambia
  • UAP Holdings – Uganda, Kenya & Sudan
  • Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) – Tanzania
  • Central Bank of Kenya Pensions
  • Mukuba Pension Scheme – Zambia
  • National Social Security and Insurance Trust – Sierra Leone

How FundMaster holistic approach to pension funds management and its state of art technology paid off at Nico

Following the go-live date on 2nd June 2021, NICO Pension has realized the following benefits and challenges on its pension administration business:

  • Benefits Administration
    • Products Management & Scheme set up: Ability to set up new schemes and products. Improved management of schemes’ membership where details are validated at the input stage for batch input or single-member entry. This has helped in cleaning data since the system comes with a functionality to filter any data which is not valid from the data entry level.
    • Contributions Management: The system has made it possible to allocate contributions submitted directly or through online billing. This means that contributions submitted in batches are archived in the system for future reference.
    • Claims Management: The set of configurations for claims computation provided by FundMaster has enabled users to create any claim category and give it a specific flow to suit the regulatory requirement. The configuration under claims setup has also allowed the business to create any document required for all claims created. Once claim documents are submitted, they are scanned and passed on from all users handling that claim without the physical exchange of documents. This has helped the business to eliminate paperwork and mitigate cases where claim documents are lost before payment is made.
  • Annuities / Pensions Payroll: FundMaster Pensioners module allows administration of pensioners’ payroll and carry out all processes from increment allocations and checking of guaranteed period checking.
  •  Fees and Commissions: FundMaster Comes with a fees and commissions module which has computerized the administration of fees and commissions for various brokers and other service provides.
  •  Workflow Engine: system as a workflow module which enables business to monitor production and output per user thus improving efficiency. Nico has yet to tap into the full potential of this engine.
  • Notifications: The system came with a notification mechanism that has been welcomed by almost 99.9% of customers. For a long time, business was struggling to disseminate information to customers. With the flexibility of notification set-up, now customized messages can be sent to customers concerning various events like member on-boarding, contribution allocation, and claim processes.
  • Document Management: Ability to save documents at the scheme and member level using the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) component in the FundMaster.
  • Online Portal, Mobile app, and USSD: These three platforms have provided customers with various modes of accessing their pension information at their comfort.
  • Financial Accounting: The system has enhanced the accounting tanks, especially for accounts payable, receivables, cash management, general ledger, and budgeting. Integration with other systems has enabled Nico to work seamlessly with other entities, especially banks.
  • Reports: With FundMaster the business can generate standard reports from the system for various stakeholders.
  • Costs: Since implementation day, Nico Pension has experienced greater cost-cuts in areas like printing, especially from a claims perspective which previously demanded huge paperwork. Notifications have also contributed much towards lowering the cost communication with customers. Therefore, in the long run, the business will benefit more in terms of such eliminated costs of various resources including humans.
  • Operational Efferences: FundMaster has brought in greater operational efficiencies in Nico business environment both internal through the core system and external through member self-service platforms.

Conclusion

Nico pension services needed a system that would help them administer their schemes with efficacy and FundMaster proved to be that software of choice. As discussed in this paper, Nico has been able to tap into the versatility of FundMaster to solve the problem that held them back for some time.

Five years down the line, Nico continues to enjoy robust support in system application and new developments to support their changing business needs.

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