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Metropolitan Retirement Administrators [MRA] becomes the first to successfully complete an international review for risk mitigation with no major risks identified

09 September 2010 Michelle Schreuder-Rankin

Metropolitan Retirement Administrators throws the gauntlet to other retirement administrators by becoming the first to successfully complete the international review for risk mitigation controls and procedures at first attempt without any major risks identified

Metropolitan Retirement Administrators (MRA) recently became the first South African retirement administrator to successfully complete the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 review incorporating a data analytics review based on 100% of the member population, without any major risks identified. The report, by an independent auditing firm, reported on the effectiveness of all key controls over the IT infrastructure and administration processes in scope and concluded that all key controls operated effectively for the period under review. Based on the outcome of the report, there is a low level of risk for any organisation engaging with MRA from a systems and processes perspective.

Ian Smith, Executive Director at MRA says in an industry that has been rocked by numerous scandals to the detriment of retirement members, the results of the ISAE 3000 review provides comfort to MRA’s clients and retirement funds in general that the key controls around the areas mentioned are operating effectively, with little or no opportunity for failures.

Furthermore, says Smith, the review report provides a very high level of assurance to clients that what is reflected in the fund financial statements correctly reflects what has been processed by MRA.

MRA provides retirement administration and investment accounting services to a number of retirement funds, with more than 240 000 members and assets of more than R70 billion under administration.

The auditor commented “MRA achieved an excellent result. In our experience organisations normally achieve a “clean” report after about 3 years of performing this type of review”.

MRA uses an administrative system called Benchmark which is one of the most sophisticated platforms in the retirement industry today. It was developed in-house and remains one of the most automated retirement systems in the world, with advanced accounting and reporting capabilities that’s designed to expedite member claims and queries and provides trustees with complete management information required to make the appropriate decisions.

Smith says as retirement costs increasingly come under pressure due to poor market prospects, retirement fund trustees have a fiduciary duty to members to look for the most cost effective solutions, while at the same time maintaining the highest levels of governance and controls. Smith says the results of the ISAE 3000 review report confirm that MRA can truly claim to be world-class.

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