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Batseta enjoys a fitting launch

10 June 2014 Batseta

Setting the scene from the get-go, the Batseta Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa (Batseta) was launched at the organisation’s annual conference on 9 June 2014. This was not a hyped-up glitzy affair but a clear indication that Batseta means business. It was an auspicious start for a professional body.

"We chose to launch our organisation at the conference,” explains CEO Anne-Marie D’Alton, "because it says so much about the nature of Batseta. We are committed to the upliftment and education of retirement fund fiduciaries and that is exactly what this conference is about.”

Chairman Isaac Ramputa echoed this sentiment in his opening remarks when he stated that: "Batseta is committed to transformation and education. Whatever we do, we do for the industry and Batseta will offer all support that trustees and principal officers need. ”

Continuing the theme of Batseta’s contribution to the education of the retirement fund industry, Chairman of the Mineworkers Provident Fund, Martin Kuscus concurred, noting that "Batseta is certainly supportive of lifelong learning – as the environment changes around us, we need to continually adapt and educate ourselves, to benchmark ourselves against global best practice in the industry and Batseta will be alongside us, helping to establish those benchmarks and providing the necessary education to enable us to reach those standards.”

Mr. Ramputa encouraged all members to become active participants in the industry body. "It is essential for all members to participate and to be involved in this organization. We don't want talk, we want action and the best way to achieve that is for members to be involved contributors.” He also stressed the need for a well-oiled, well-established organisational framework within which the activities would take place.

Within the context of Batseta, all fiduciaries need to serve their fund members to the best of their ability. "Effective leaders should be servants. We are here to serve the members of the retirement funds, to protect their assets and ensure that they have the best possible chance of retirement success that they can. For this, trustees require specific and detailed knowledge to function well. They need to ask the right questions, and for this they must be informed. Fiduciaries shouldn't just sit in meetings smiling and nodding.”

Mr. Kuscus elaborated on this. "Retirement funding decisions are complex and often irreversible. Poorly understood options can leave many retirees with the wrong annuity product and increasingly vulnerable to poverty and most often a disappointment in the final benefit.”

While retirement fund fiduciaries face considerable challenges, they are not insurmountable. Through working as a collective within the aegis of Batseta, they will be able to overcome those hurdles.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

How to give affordable and appropriate financial advice to the low income market segment. There is little room on a R50 pm policy for advisers to be remunerated for the time it would it would take to educate & fulfil admin function. What is the solution?

ANSWER

[a] Eliminate non-advice sales / telesales
[b] Implement industry standards for non-advice information
[c] Introduce an insurer-funded pro-bono advice network to low income earners
[d] Reinforce the Policyholder Protection Rules
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