Issue: September/November 09
Old Mutual launches financial wellbeing programme to trustees of retirement funds and to employers
Insufficient savings levels, and the tendency for employees to cash in their retirement savings when changing jobs, mean that as few as six out of every 100 South Africans are able to retire comfortably.
Bongani Madikiza, General Manager of Corporate Client Services at Old Mutual Corporate, says there is a real need for trustees and employers to provide financial education to their retirement fund members and employees to help them plan for their retirement.
Old Mutual therefore launched its free-of-charge Financial Wellbeing Programme to help guide retirement fund members through the process of successful, ongoing retirement planning.
Madikiza says the relevance of this programme is underscored by the fact that, while most people are aware that saving, investing, and planning for their future are essential to their quality of life and financial security, many do not know how to go about it.
“Our Financial Wellbeing Programme offers practical solutions in sound financial planning and management, including the reasons and methods for effective preservation of retirement savings. It also encourages and educates individuals to break old habits that hinder financial stability and promote the tendency of pro-active saving,” he adds.
These include a thorough assessment of the financial status of the entire retirement fund and its individual members. The different results show precisely the level of financial preparedness of fund members as individuals and as a whole. This allows retirement-fund trustees or employers to choose the appropriate workshop from the Old Mutual Financial Wellbeing Programme, based on the needs identified.
The two-hour workshops offer topics ranging from general information about the members’ retirement fund and the importance of proper retirement planning, to insights and training around essential financial, risk and investment management principles and techniques.
The programme also offers the in-depth “On The Money” behaviour change workshop. It takes eight hours to complete, but can be run as a series of shorter sessions spread over a period of time.
In addition, the programme provides members with a range of easy-to-use financial planning and decision-making tools and calculators, as well as access to ongoing consultation and advice from accredited Old Mutual financial planning professionals.
“The programme has been designed to fit seamlessly into any organisation’s human resources strategy or employee wellness programme, or any retirement fund’s member communication policy,” says Madikiza. “The services and workshops are tailored according to income levels, financial literacy levels, language preferences, and location.”
The rollout of the Financial Wellbeing Programme to retirement funds and employers follows on from the highly successful “On The Money” workshops that Old Mutual has been conducting across all provinces for individuals since 2006. To date, over 50 000 South Africans have benefited from the programme.