Retirement funds drive towards comprehensive social security

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“Our economy is faced with a unique challenge that requires far-reaching strategies for a sustainable social security and retirement infrastructure. We must take account of economic cycles, position ourselves for the long-term and ensure that there is a system that balances opportunities, savings and protection.”

These are the cautionary words of Zamani Letjane, President of The Institute of Retirement Funds (IRFA), announcing the IRFA Annual Conference to be hosted from 17 - 19 August 2014 at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Now in its 26th year, government leaders, trustees, asset managers, fund administrators, retirement fund members, and pension lawyers will gather to debate issues affecting the implementation of a comprehensive social security system in South Africa. Under the headline “Lighting the future towards a comprehensive social security” the conference will deal with pressing issues pertaining to the implementation of National Treasury retirement reform policies that come into effect on 1st March 2015, and provide insight on how South Africa will be moving towards creating tomorrow’s legacy in comprehensive social security.

A successful retirement reform should take into account income inequality, poverty and policies related to the labour market, pension, insurance schemes and social assistance in order to ensure sustainable retirement incomes - all taken into account as the conference demonstrates current retirement reform processes relating to investment returns, administrative and transition costs, institutional and administrative capacity and transparency.

Historically, the IRFA Conference has attracted more than 1600 delegates. This conference coincides with the implementation of major National Treasury legislations on pension fund reform from 1st March 2014. The industry has extensively contributed to the amendment of the existing legislations and there exists growing pressure for the industry to be compliant. The IRFA conference has always been the perfect platform for all stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the retirement industry and listen to the views and position of the government regulatory bodies such as National Treasury, FSB and SARS.

Letjane concludes, “We have selected the industry’s finest speakers, including National Treasury - who will be outlining the measures that enable the country to afford its citizens protection against contingencies of unemployment, old age, disability, and maternity, Rosemary Hunter from FSB and PFA Muvhango Lukhaimane. We also employ panel discussions and break-away sessions to ensure delegates have the opportunity to discuss retirement reform issues on topics such as legal, investments and savings, the PFA’s Report, governance, trustees’ roles and responsibilities, and international comparative policies and standardisation.”

The programme will feature more than 20 sessions and focus on the following issues:

 Promoting social & economic equality through social uplifting and development

 Retirement reform: Understanding changes introduced by the Taxation Laws General Amendment Act 2013 which have an impact on pension funds

Evolving trustees’ roles and fiduciary duties to act with care and skills beyond the Pension Reform

 Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and the Twin-Peaks Model

 Legal update: Legislative and policy changes you should know as introduced by the Minister of Finance in the 2014/2015 Budget

 Panel discussions – To clarify the impact of the Implementation of the Comprehensive Social Security System and Developments and Good Governance

 Breakaway sessions to explore various topics pertaining to investment strategies and regulations and pension fund issues unforeseen by the Regulator

 Whether it is desirable/viable for the board to delegate sec 37C duties to another person or committee?

 Exploring personal liability of directors for non-compliance with sec 37A – is there a solution for employers in financial difficulty

 Understanding the implications of new tax dispensation from 1 March 2015
Understanding the effectiveness of the court divorce orders and PFA determinations

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Issue 72