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FSB: Better training for trustees

27 October 2011 FSB

The abilities of retirement fund trustees again came under the spotlight on the first day of the OECD/IOPS global Forum on Pension Funds conference, currently underway in Cape Town this week. In his speech to more than 150 delegates attending the conference –delivered by Chief Director at National Treasury, Mr Olano Makhubela; Deputy Finance Minister, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, made a call for trustees to have the relevant education, experience, and skills to make investment decisions in the best interest of pension funds and their beneficiaries.

Said Nene: “If you think about it carefully, as a trustee you are expected to be an actuary, investment manager, lawyer, accountant and compliance officer. Managing pension funds is not a simple task.”

The conference is jointly hosted by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS).

In response to the concerns highlighted at the conference, the FSB recently launched a toolkit for trustees.

Wilma Mokupo, Head of Department in the Retirement Funds division at the Financial Services Board says: “There is a need for better governance in retirement funds. Trustees know what the right thing to do is, but they need to go the full distance in taking the right decisions at the right time. The law can only do so much.”

The response from trustees has been overwhelmingly positive, signaling just how much the trustees themselves feel the need for such a toolkit. So far over 1000 trustees have registered for the toolkit.

This week’s conference will also see the delegates from over 60 different countries share experiences on how to better manage pension funds in their respective countries, and also how to better equip their trustees.

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