Corporate governance? What corporate governance? Practical application of key King Code recommendations appears hollow, as some recent examples illustrate. Fund trustees shouldn't be so passive.
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Ill Wind for Institutions
Outspoken in an address to a Cosatu/Nactu/Fedusa conference, Pension Funds Adjudicator Vuyani Ngalwana has given vent to his frustrations.
Among them are limitations in adjudicating on all issues affecting buyers of products from service providers. Already angry with him,
the life offices won't like what he says here either. That he is strongly supported by government indicates how this debate is likely to go.
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The litigation between a Sanlam-administered fund and the Pension Funds Adjudicator has resulted in a judgment from which both claim victories. But they are only partial victories, and it isn't the end of the saga.
The big issue
Costs of compliance with legislation and regulation are major factors affecting the returns that retirement funds
produce for members. These costs are continuously escalating. Are they all really worth it? And who's most to blame? Surprise, surprise...
This & That
It seems the final code on Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment does,
after all, recognise the ownership stakes held indirectly in companies by retirement funds' black members.
Dion George shows why it's right that the final B-B BEE code does recognise retirement funds. Not to have done so, as per the earlier drafts, denied a vital aspect of the trade unions' long struggle.
Avril Hippert explains the procedures now required in the auditing and presentation of retirement-fund accounts. There'll be better disclosure and also heightened responsibilities for trustees.
The picture's terrible. South Africans aren't putting away nearly enough for the days when they'll no longer be able to work. Those who can afford to save more, aren't. And they can expect to live for much longer than previous generations.
Each year, swap your fund manager for a new one. There's merit in "switch and save", finds a UK study, because managers are inclined to perform best in year one. What's
more, managers who've performed well in the past are more likely to perform well in the future.
Frank Magwegwe highlights the role of retirement funds in transformation. At a Satawu conference, he urged that their power be used effectively and responsibly.
Basil Rajah discusses some of the Pension Funds Adjudicator's more recent determinations.
Judge Dennis Davis hits on a "holy" cow.