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Institute of Retirement Funds announces new entity, and leadership

29 July 2013 Zamani Letjane, The Institute of Retirement Funds

The Institute of Retirement Funds (IRF) has formally announced its new board during national key stakeholder meetings held recently in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. The new board includes a spectrum of principal officers, trustees, and legal and inv

The second change to be announced was its move from NGO to Non-Profit Company (NPC), a separate legal entity with stricter formalities, as prescribed by the Companies Act of 2008. This comes as a direct and open bid to ensure directors’ are responsible and accountable for their decision-making, comply with corporate governance, and to ensure credibility going forward. Furthermore, the board has since been divided into five subcommittees – legal and technical, investment, trustee and education, recruitment, and research.

Explains Zamani Letjane, President and Chairperson of the IRF, “Previously the IRF was operating merely as a voluntary organization, which, while admirable, lacked the definitive commitment expected of a leading industry body. The IRF’s new board takes its role very seriously, is accountable, and seeks to ensure good governance across the board. It’s what the industry expects from us, and it’s what we are wholly committed to. By moving to an NPC, it ensures there will be more processes, as well as checks and balances to bring the organisation’s new initiatives to reality.”

In their first demonstration of action, the IRF will be holding its National Annual Conference from 18-20 August at the ICC in Durban. This year they will place a specific focus on “information sharing” which allows the industry’s protagonists to discuss issues, learn from one another, and suggest improvements, alongside the normal networking opportunities.

Letjane adds, “Like many other industry ‘associations’, year-on-year the IRF’s Annual Conference followed a somewhat deliberate and repetitive format of ‘presenting’, but this time we intend to ‘engage’ - allowing for dialogue and a more open framework of information sharing and communication. In this way we can scratch beneath the surface and bring the industry’s needs and obstacles to the forefront. From that point we will be clear on the areas in which we need to focus for the next 12 months.”

The event will also present the second phase of the research projects, and introduce the IRF’s new Trustee Development Training Academy, enhancing financial literacy and influencing curriculum for trustee training. The event will also discuss and propose a new Research Foundation in which it works closely with the Regulator (SARS, FSB and National Treasury) and other stakeholders to explore other areas outlined for improvement.

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