Edition: June - August 2015


Good times don’t last forever. The wide divergence between the respective performances of economic growth and share prices indicates that perhaps trustees of pension funds should now start looking to more cautious investment strategies. Read more


The National Empowerment Fund puts it at 3% and the JSE at 30% of listed companies. Only one of them can be right, and the implications are significant. Immediately at issue is whether the computation should exclude or include ownership through vehicles such as pension funds. Read more


The ANC in Gauteng has based its policy prescription, for election of directors to company boards, on black ownership of the Top 100 companies being around 30%. That pension funds are critical voters makes them pillars of the policy, from which numerous challenges and responsibilities must follow. Read more


Regulatory uncertainty bedevils BEE, hence companies and investors too; Batseta gets slowly off the ground as pension-fund trustees’ representative body; Another gulf in representation is that most fund members neither know nor care who their trustees are; The contract of Dube Tshidi LLM is virtually certain to be extended as executive officer of the Financial Services Board. Read more


Since the 2008-09 financial crisis, some worrying trends have emerged. A selection of industry professionals provides views on what trustees should do, particularly in so far as ‘birthday risk’ is concerned. The blunt question is whether, and if so how, the capital of fund members should best be protected if they must retire during a similar upheaval. Read more


Supreme Court of Appeal rules that the Pension Funds Act does not entitle a fund to litigate on behalf of its members. The interests of all members do not always coincide. There’s potential for interest conflicts between the fund and its members, it held. Read more


A case study from FirstRand shows how lucratively the broad-based BEE codes can work for participants. It’s far better than narrow-based BEE, surely. Read more


As much as R1bn can be lying in “dormant” pension funds. Many of them have been closed, but now the Financial Services Board is considering reversal of the closures where contactable members have been caused material prejudice. Read more


How tracing works; also, where and why it doesn’t. The charging basis of no ‘success, no fee’ isn’t on its own a sufficient incentive for optimal results. Those holding the unclaimed benefits must also have the will and be more innovative to ensure higher success rates. Read more


Potential for the release of unclaimed benefits is further highlighted by pending litigation launched by a fund’s liquidator. If he succeeds -- and the Financial Services Board should let him – the precedent might theoretically enable many billions of rand to be distributed. Practically, the number of beneficiaries will again depend on the efficacy of tracing them. Read more


Looking at what’s gone before, the unions are prepared to become more actively and constructively involved with pension funds. These days they’re kicking at an open door. Read more


To seriously accelerate transformation, government can use the significant influence it has over public-sector pension funds. Read more


Transformation implies political intervention. As such, it conflicts with trustees’ primary duty to their pension funds. Read more


Hard acts to follow at the GEPF. Read more

Expert Opinions