FSB plans e-learning for retirement fund trustees

22 July 2010 Financial Services Board (FSB)

The Financial Services Board (FSB) is considering establishing an e-learning retirement funds trustee training tool to assist trustees in fulfilling their fiduciary duties and responsibilities with greater confidence.

E-learning involves the delivery of learning, training or education programmes by electronic means, by the use of a computer or electronic device (e.g. a mobile phone).

The initiative, via the FSB’s consumer education department, will be based on a similar highly successful programme established by the UK pensions regulator. The training tool will be in a user friendly format where trustees can train at their own pace, do a self assessment, be graded and receive a completion certificate.

Deputy Registrar of Pension of Funds at the FSB, Jurgen Boyd says there has been an outcry from industry stakeholders for the FSB to play a more active role in facilitating trustee education in South Africa.

“We would like to gauge the interest in e-learning-based trustee training before we roll out the programme. It will be based on similar training introduced by the UK pensions regulator, but adapted to South Africa conditions.”

It is estimated that across approximately 7 000 active funds there are about 28 000 active trustees. “To provide training for this large constituency will be very costly. It is our view therefore, that e-learning will be much more cost effective.

“We would like the trustees to go to the FSB’s webpage , and then click on consumer education and follow the links. All duly appointed and elected trustees are encouraged to register on the FSB website page before 31 August 2010 whether you are an experienced trustee or not. Trustees are also urged to diligently respond to the few questions provided on free trustee training,” Boyd added.

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